5/3/16: Beyonce, Juan Atkins, Calvin Harris, The Bo-Keys

@@@ Beyonce: Love Drought (Columbia, 2016).  A return to coherent songwriting in song 7.  A very tasty arpeggiated, pizzicatto synth figure, a solid bass pulse, and some nice vocals.  She’s got a lot of vocals tracked here and they aren’t flying all over the place and distracting from the tune.  This is the best tune on the record to this point.  See all you Beyonce haters out there, if it’s good I give it respect.  Of any tunes on the record to be classic this might be the one.

@@@ Juan Atkins & Moritz Von Oswald: Borderland: Transport (Tresor, 2016).  Techno off this week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune opens up with minimalism and tension.  It’s funky but lean.  I like what’s going on in this first tune, let’s check some more.  The second tune, Lightyears, is more standard techno with four on the floor with an oscillating synth.  They got a classic techno undercarriage here, but a really well chosen synth sound that funk-a-fies the proceedings.  I’m not a huge techno guy but this record is exquisitely arranged and Imma gonna have to swing back and listen to it more closely.

@@@ Calvin Harris: This is What You Came for (Sony Music, 2016).  Is Mr. Harris still banging Tay Tay?  This tune features Rihanna and you never know maybe he stepped on that skinny white girl with marketing skills.  It’s not that this club tune is awful, it’s pretty well constructed, but Twinkies were pretty well designed as well.  Nice foamy oblong shape, they maintain shape, the cream goes in the middle, and the brown that space ckae up!  These are Twinkie beats yo, aka Beats for Club Idiots.  The lyrics stink, I mean let’s just leave it at that, and the cheesy hook in the chorus belongs with macaroni not in a song.  I would rather listen to dogs fornicate.  Check this lyric video for your kindergarden spelling lesson!

@@@ The Bo-Keys: Heartache by the Numbers (Omnivore, 2016).  This record is slotted as country soul on this week’s All Music weekly email but to my ears this is big ensemble electric Chicago blues.  This first tune features a full horn section, a nice Hammond B3 organ, guitars, bass and drums.  The GoogleTube says these guys hail from Memphis so I was wrong but not to far off.  This is some old school business here and they do a good job putting life into it.  The vocals especially.

YTD recordings listened to: 400
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 225
Not good music: 148

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, Brian Eno, Juan Atkins


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