Music for 1/20/21!!! Justin Bieber, Made Kuti

@@@ Justin Bieber: Anyone (UMG, 2021) Tweeted and blurbed as a return to form I thought I would throw it a peep. I’m guessing it will be some chocolate-y smooth loverboy business but who knows. Opening with a ping pong-y synth, a little flusing synth and Bieber bringing that high end cheese as I expected. If this was a baseball it would be high and tight. Oh God, the chorus is trash, fucking trash I say! He didn’t put a real sound or a real lyric in this whole track, it is detached from any reality that I know. An ’80s synth arrangement, giant reverb patches, wow I’m completely blown away at how awful this is and as it unfolds it just gets more and more awful. Wow, get fucked.

@@@ Made Kuti: Free Your Mind (Partisan, 2020) I don’t know if I’ve heard this Kuti before, and that’s no criticism or slight. He brings a slightly modified more interwoven Afrobeat flavor here on this single I got to via the WRIR playlist email. It’s got the standard thick mix of flavors but it sports an unusual vocal arrangement with a lot of almost chant-y set up with a lot of rhythmic feels and not the sole supreme leader style of Fela. I prefer this style. It’s about a 5 minute track with the last third given over to a collective horn solo. I like the ensemble, the energy and I really dig the more humble vocal approach. Afrobeat is not my favorite subgenre of African music so it’s not easy for me to shit my pants but this is a more than solid Afrobeat track with unique vibes.

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