Music for 8/27/20!!! Pharrell and Jay Z, BTS, Nas, Katy Perry

@@@ Pharrell Williams and Jay Z: Entrepneur (Columbia, 2020) Regular readers know I love Pharrell’s hat and I loathe Jay Z as a predatory piece of shit. He does do a lot to blackwash his reputation but he’s strictly a businessman with not much else really going on. Pharrell has always walked a tight line between paying homage to past great African American music and straight copying it outright. Ahem, Blurred Lines. I think there’s a double edge to having the lyrics outside of the chorus whispered during the verse. Lyrically, this is pretty much word salad, most notably the vocal sample of If you want to be let out of here you’re welcome to go. I’m not really even sure I understand what that means. If it’s possible this tune makes less sense than Beyonce’s recent title track, Black Parade. I’m all for these lyrical themes but this track, I’m not sure what to say about it. Put the lyrics and samples from this up against an old Curtis Mayfield track or James Brown or Stevie Wonder and they don’t hang. Lastly I don’t speak for black folks but I’m not sure about getting a lecture from Jay Z. I didn’t think this would be a very good song but it underperformed my expectations.

@@@ BTS: Dynamite (Big Hit Entertainment, 2020) A bunch of Korrean pretty boys rocking some slicked up Michael Jackson pop funk that was pretty slicked out to begin with.  I find much of K pop to be a bit unsettling — the physical alterations to their bodies and the cultural appropriation.  The lyrics here are purposely just stupid by design — light me up like dynamite, whoa ho!!!  The horns are all right, the guitar is a little boring but these guys are worldwide panty moisteners.  To me it’s a bit too corn syrup for my taste.  Earth Wind and Fire wasn’t the heaviest band but they would pick these pretty boys out of their stools in the morning.  It would be interesting to know how this track is assembled, by whom and how.

@@@ Nas: Ultra Black (Mass Appeal, 2020) Off the Apple Music hot music section.  It’s a celebration of blackness which is cool and appropriate in the wake of this summer’s protests, but compared to Pharrell and Jay Z’s plate of sticky pasta that kicked off today’s listening, this is a coherent and really cool arrangement.  Simple shuffle beat with a simple piano part and the Nas makin’ hay all over the top.  Also a playful electro melody flitting around.  This track is so much better than what Pharrell and Jay Z came up with, they should be ashamed of themselves.  Nas goes off like dynamite (little BTS reference there).

@@@ Katy Perry: What Makes a Woman (Capitol, 2020) The last song on Perry’s upcoming full length.  Perry is pregnant and I guess she’s raising some money to purchase cloth diapers.  It’s a slow tune but still with Perry’s signature roar and it’s a female identity track.  The main musical element is an understated arpeggio guitar but it builds and right now I feel a giant cheese bomb coming on.  Maybe it won’t explode cuz she’s preggers and it doesn’t fully roar but it’s Katy Perry so it’s all going to be very familiar and full of positive sentiments that have been recycled so so many times in this case praising ordinary everyday women.  Which I totally get and support even though I have a dick but it’s depressing lack of creativity that forces me into this position.  If you’re not buying into the Katy Perry story and living your life with her and through her then there’s nothing here for you.

YTD recordings listened to: 656
Good music, not list worthy: 342
Not good music: 295

Best: 0
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, Nico Gomez, Nohe and Sus Santos, schroothoop, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, STORMLIGHT, Venomous Concept, Chezidek, Shy One, Muqata’a, Protomartyr


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