@@@ Don Toliver: Cardigan (Cactus Jack/Atlantic, 2020) A trap sexy love tune. Toliver sings a bit Michael Jackson style (just a melodic fragment here and there) but ya know more street over trap beats. He rhymes your honor with marijuana, nice. He’s all right on the mic but the sounds are pretty standard/borderline disposable. I find the keyboard sounds especially tired.
@@@ Brandy Clark: Your Life is a Record (Warner, 2020) This female country singer songwriter is being hyped as the underrated voice that must be heard now. Or some such. The first track (clipped below) mixes the metaphor of records and life. It’s a very spacious production sound (Daniel Lanois-esque but a little less dark) and this first tune has plenty of slide guitar flourish as well as string swells, etc. It’s a pretty ambient mix of sounds. The second tune, Long Walk, is perkier for sure. The vocal hook, you can take a long walk off a short pier, is not finding a lot of traction with me, it’s not fresh. This is music for people with jobs who don’t think much about their music. I’m feeling a lot of lyrical cliches and a shortage of soul connection. I like music that makes me feel and I recognize I’m in the minority on that point. The point of music is to feel regardless of the feeling.
@@@ Jhene Aiko: Chilombo (Def Jam, 2020) The first listen was off the Apple Music hot tracks section and these last two are from this week’s All Music notable release email. Interestingly the record opens with piano and voice and no bullshit. Pretty but certainly not oversinging. She has a fair amount of mainstream hip hop guests on this record but for a mainstream record it’s shockingly bereft of bullshit. The lyrics revolve around love and booty which is to be expected. I love the piano player, and I like her vocal delivery, the lyrics are all right and I’m expecting most of the MCs are gonna take Drake style loverboy rhyme drive bys, but I won’t be there.
@@@ Ingrid Andress: More Hearts Than Mine (Warner, 2020) A white girl piano ballad love song. It’s starting slow but I think it’s gonna explode in the chorus — fingers crossed! It’s country flavored with big arena feels. She says her moms falls in love much more easily than she does so are we talking some mother/daughter/new boyfriend action? Wow, that’s pretty spicy for a mainstream tune but I’m guessing it’s metaphorical and they won’t be having a three way. If you’re kind to this artist it’s more about this woman’s relationship with her family than it is about her relationship with this young man. We haven’t definitively been told it’s a dude so maybe we’re talking a three way fff threesome. Yowsa! I kid, I kid. Everybody be safe out there. Also off Apple Music hot tracks.
YTD recordings listened to: 195
Good music, not list worthy: 111
Not good music: 84
Honorable Mentions: 0
Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, Slidhr, The Chewers, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Noname, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, RAM, Fiver, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Portal, Lawaii, Etran De L’Air, Ruby Karinto, Elysia Crampton, Parquet Courts, Moskus, Kendl Winter, Tkay Maidza, Barro, Daniel Khan, Tallawit Timbouctou, Sumac, Tropical Fuck Storm, Harriet Tubman, Ammar 808, Anais Maviel, Chaka Khan, Pom Poko, Fried Egg, Tarek Atoui, Saicobab, General Purv, Shipping News, Big Thief, Mariachi El Bronx, Pour Me a Grog, Sudan Archives, Lakou Mizik, Moodymann, Pharmakon, Alefa Madagascar, Janjao, Luge, Wiki, Mick Jenkins, Jeremiah Jae, Fera, Gambian Griot Kora Duets, Drama, Beatrice Dillon, Mass Worship, mmmonika, Les Deuxluxes