@@@ Beyonce: Daddy Lessons (Columbia, 2016). We continue or music only, no PR, no video reviews of Beyonce’s latest record. This tune opens up mad New Orleans before it morphs into a ballad over acoustic guitar. As with all things about Beyonce, all lyrics are about Beyonce and not Beyonce at the same time. This is basically a Bon Jovi power ballad without electric guitars. The lyrics are pretty standard, without much imagination and she does an okay job singing them. If another non-Beyonce artists came out with ‘With his gun and his head held high’ I would denounce that. This tune only works as a tune if your are enmeshed with Beyonce’s persona and are interested in her part true/part fiction persona.
@@@ Billy Bao: Lagos Sessions (Night School, 2016). Four 15 minute pieces of what I hope to be African influenced electronica that I got to via the Aquarius weekly email. This first tune is opening collage style with some static, distorted chants, African singing, the sound of urban traffic. Regular readers know that Imma huge fan of the African electronica but I’m not hearing enough formed music here to keep me interested. The second tune, B, opens up rocking with a white boy singer so now I’m completely confused as to what’s on offer here. Especially as the third tune, C, returns to the African found sounds. I’m feeling like this third tune, C, is what came here for and it should have been at the opening of the record.
@@@ Cave States: True Life (barrowletter music, 2016). I got to this roots record via a music publicist email. The schpiel is that this is Wilco-esque Americana, but I don’t hear any of the indie hipness I’ve come to not love in Wilco’s music. Production here is high end and modern with big slide guitar and plenty of reverb. Mope-y but not whine-y. It’s a Crosby, Stills, and Nash/The Band lovechild. The second tune, No Words, has more of a Wilco feel. I can see this record working well for straight ahead cubicle dwellers out there. I’m not sure if the folks working at insurance companies are rolling out to my blog, but if you are stop working for that insurance company and maybe check out this record while you’re on fun-employment.
@@@ Naryan: My End Leaf (Naryan, 2014). Super dramatical mainstream hard rock with piano and strings that I got to via the music blog Indiepulse. Operatic, emotive singer, quiet in the verse then comes the crush in the chorus. It’s like Metallica but well dressed with much loftier lyrics.
YTD recordings listened to: 396
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 223
Not good music: 147
Honorable Mentions: 8
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, Brian Eno