@@@ Lucinda Williams: You Can’t Rule Me (Highway 20/30 Tigers, 2020) The first tune off Williams’ new record and she sounds a bit tipsy/drawled out on the microphone. She’s hardened up her sound to reflect her rebellious turn and it’s a blues rock thing with more rock than I’ve heard in her music before. I’m not sure how I feel about the old school heavy blues thing she’s doing here. I don’t love her singing in the tune and a bit more mess and fire might help. I like her and I don’t hate it but I’m a bit nonplussed.
@@@ Ali Shaheed: The Midnight Hour (Jazz is Dead, 2020) This is slotted as crossover jazz on Apple Music, a term I’ve never encountered before. I guess it’s a fancy way to describe slightly more adventurous r&b with some classic jazz sounds tossed in. Here a bit of flute, some chill keyboards, a real drummer, etc. It does have a singer, in fact there are a ton of guest vocalists on this record. It’s all right with nice sounds and well recorded drums. The energy is a bit low for my taste but it’s a tune called hey lover so that makes sense. Pretty standard for what I would expect from crossover jazz.
@@@ Brendan Benson: Richest Man (Third Man, 2020) Jack White, big rock star of the White Stripes, has been shitting out a ton of music with his Third Man imprint. I haven’t been listening much and this is the record of one of the gents in the Raconteurs, a band White has trafficked in. This is more polished than the Jack White-Led Zeppeling xeroxing, it’s downright bouncy energetic and upbeat rock, he’s happy to have a great wife and he’s got half the money but he’s got a full horn section and shit is happenin’. Twice the love, half the money is an all right vocal hook btw. Now if I was a judge on Chopped I would say this track needs some contrast, something to offset the gigantic upbeat chunk that lies at the core of the track. I’m not going to chop it but it’s not an invalid observation.
@@@ Other Lives: Lost Day (ATO, 2020) Some major label alternative which would have been released as rock music before the ridiculous label alternative was created. I partially correct myself as the proceedings get more orchestral and less rock after the intro with some hipster-y vocal arrangements and more than a few string flourishes. I would say this is higher in textures than it is on energy. The lead singer has a major label voice — open, friendly and engaging. I’m not sure what that song was about. Sonically it was about a smart sounding arrangement.
YTD recordings listened to: 322
Good music, not list worthy: 168
Not good music: 142
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, Tony Allen, Fra Fra, Nihiloxica, Hailu Mergia, Pokey LaFarge