@@@ Erroneous: Shut My Head Up (Self-released, 2020) I got to this chill electronica via an email from the musician herself. This tilts way more to the electro pop neighborhood, in fact it’s pretty much straight pop using electronic sound. It does a good job at what it aspires to do and this pushes the boundary in terms of masses of vocal tracks. There’s nothing particularly unique to the musical arrangement but it does a good job supporting the vocals. I let the Apple Music player click forward which is a good sign and she continues the electro pop infused with rock feels and tons of vocal formula.
@@@ Push Push: No Gods No Masters (Grind Select, 2020) I got to this listen and the next from Line of Best Fit. Opening up with some faux metal guitar riffage, a female MC (white and British) comes in over a metallic trappy skittering beat. I’m the worst and I’m the best, right? That’s the vocal hook and it’s a pretty slamming vocal hook. Outside of the hook I don’t find the rhymes to be that compelling. Her voice is robotized which is interesting and annoying at the same time. She’s absolutely spot on in saying she’s the worst and the best right? cuz I’m into this and repulsed by its stupidity at the same time.
@@@ Dizzee Rascal, Smoke Boys: Act Like You Know (Dirty Stank/UMG, 2020) Medium dark trap/grime out of the UK as Mr. Rascal hits the microphone with one of the veritable basket of accents in the UK/Scotland. I like the modulated synth sounds that pump the mix, and the beats are all right, nothing particular oustanding nor lacking. I’m hungry for fish and chips all of a sudden, that’s so weird. That’s a two bit UK put down but I’m not sure what else to say as I can’t take the menace here, it doesn’t come across as particularly rough or genuine. That’s fine but a lot of the promise of the narco hip hop anthems is the idea that the subculture is being depicted accurately and the MC/MCs may actually be slinging and doing the horrible deeds they rap about. This doesn’t sound like that though I do like that modulated synth.
@@@ Demi Lovato: Commander in Chief (Island, 2020) I got to this track from a feature in the Guardian saying this is one of the best anti-Trump tunes of this fantastic time in America. It opens church organ-y and down. I find the epic pop vocal style (big reverb, ultra pornagraphic detailed breathy stylings). She takes it to the Bad Orange Mabn pretty good in the lyrics (including a black gospel choir!!!) Won’t give up, won’t stand down with a marching snare drum pattern, that’s a bit Disney dramatical. I find the combination of super corporate pop production and protest lyrics fascinating — it’s jarring and somewhat unwelcome to my ears but I guess if people feels it then so be it.
YTD recordings listened to: 804
Good music, not list worthy: 440
Not good music: 339
Honorable Mentions: 5
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, 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, Tiny Bit of Giant’s Blood, Pole, Naeem, Mekons, Santrofi, DJ Nigga Fox, Flor do Toloache, Alexander Hawkins/Tomeka Reid, Shy One, Protomartyr, Nnamdi, Ekiti Sound, Awa Fall, 25,000 Kittens, Anjimile, Superfonicos, Yves Jarvis, Jonsi