Music for 4/28/18!!! Jennifer Lopez, Dierks Bentley

@@@ Jennifer Lopez: El Anillo (Sony, 2018)  I have not heard a Jennifer Lopez tune in ages.  I’m more than a bit shocked at the freshness of the sounds here.  It is a blend of Spanish language lyrics, Latin percussion rhythms and electronic sounds.  Lopez does a good job at not oversinging and bringing lady funk to the tune.  She’s not particularly feminine in her vocal style which is also a bit surprising.  There is a small part of the tune where the vocal melody becomes more romantic but it is sandwiched by tough dancefloor sounds on either side.

@@@ Dierks Bentley: Living (Capitol Nashville, 2018) A pre-release new country single off the Apple Music hot tracks seciton.  Regular readers know how much I love new country music with its arena music production and it’s piquant lyrical blend that consists mostly of corn and cheese.  Now I like corn and cheese as much as the next guy but I like it when I go out for Mexican.  This is a tune about being grateful for your life and I’m down with that except these are third grader lyrics and should come with a baby food spoon and a Disney cap.  Some days you’re living, that’s the big vocal hook.  Oy.

YTD recordings listened to: 231
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 122
Not good music: 101

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal, Hernan Sama & Marcelo von Schultz

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Music for 4/17/18!!! Nicki Minaj, Jason Aldean

@@@ Nicki Minaj: Barbie Tingz (Cash Money, 2018)  Off Apple Music hot tracks section, Nicki goes retro in the sounds, especially the drums on this track.  Oh man, right before the halfway point in the track she goes full hardcore on pissy bitches.  It’s raw and contrasts with the LL Cool J friendly style beats.  I think this pissy bitch might be a white girl but I’m not sure on that outside of the title.  Could this be Taylor Swift the bitch she wants to gut and cut?  Hmmm….

@@@ Jason Aldean: Drowns the Whiskey (Macon, 2018)  I think Nicki Minaj might have a much larger dick than this dude Aldean who might actually be sporting a va-jay-jay.  He’s trying to drink away the memory of a woman but the memory is drowning the whiskey and not the other way round, blah blah blah.

YTD recordings listened to: 209
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 112
Not good music: 90

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Tal National, Portal

Music for 3/19/18!!! Hailu Mergia, Fyahbwoy, Leon Bridges, Jason Aldean

@@@ Hailu Mergia: Lala Belu (Awesome Tapes from Africa, 2018). I got to this African record via the WRIR playlist email.  I don’t find that much jazz in this first tune, it’s more of a soul tune with a little improvised accordion over it.  The instrumentation here is drums, bass, organ, accordion and percussion.  I like it, and I promise I won’t be a genre bitch. I like the accordion player but I want more than mostly straight jazz grooves — I want more funk or more outside playing or both.  It’s pleasant and the sounds are good.

@@@ Fyahbwoy: Cadenas De Oro | (Nacional, 2018).  An urban Latin single that I saw on the very same WRIR playlist email.  Keyboards, guitar, drum machine and a loverboy singer/MC.  I can’t tell if this is a drummer or a drum machine but does it matter that much.  He’s got some pretty nice Spanish dancehall toasting going on.  I prefer that to his loverboy routine.  It’s a solid track, if you don’t like the singer you’re not gonna like the tune.  I’m agnostic on the singer.

@@@ Leon Bridges: Bad Bad News (Sony, 2018). I’ve heard Bridges before and like his music but I’m a little surprised to see such fusion-y track on the Apple Music hot tracks section.  When Bridges starts singing I get why, he really can carry a song.  There is a little blues swirled up in the fusion but it’s pretty mid to late ’70s fusion jazz sounds.  If it had different sounds I would be up on this big time.  The bass sound is great but I can’t abide by the guitar sound.  Listen for yourself.

@@@ Jason Aldean: Rearview Town (Macon/Broken Bow, 2018).  That’s right Aldean is leaving town, probably because of a woman.  God damn, girl what did you do to my man Jason?  Broken hearts and rusted plows so he’s mixing his personal plight with the decay of rural America.  This is going to be a short review as I’m on the verge of tears.  Someone get me a Kleenex!  Power chords, a guitar solo that would make Bon Jovi proud.  I’ve attached the lyric video so you can get your heart torn out.  I have to break away and shed a few tears for Facebook as America discovers what an ill bitch spying machine it is.  Lots of tears over here so make sure you got some self-care lined up, the world is full of sadness.  Ya know, broken hearts and rusted plows!

YTD recordings listened to: 151
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 79
Not good music: 69

Best: 4
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, 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, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur

Music for 3/6/18!!! Anna Meredith, Malina More, Carrie Underwood

@@@ Anna Meredith: Calion (Moshi Moshi, 2018) I got a music publicist email saying that this musician had performed the best NPR tiny desk concert ever.  That’s ever people, as in all of them.  So she gets a peep and that is high praise from the NPR eggheads.  This tune opens up as a blend of electronica and classical — two arpeggiated synths over a minimalist kick drum pulse.  Now another synth and some handclaps.  It’s definitely more deftly arranged than your normal dance floor banger but I’m not crying or so joyous that I’m thinking about the phrase ‘best ever’.  It definitely heats up during in the last third of the track but I stand by my opinion.

@@@ Malina Moye: Bad As I Wanna Be (N/A, 2018). Marketed as a guitar visionary in the publicist email that I got this single is also being framed as a #metoo kinda song.  This clip below is a marketing montage for an upcoming tune but it does not have a tune clipped so I’ve attached one below that.  Moye has been around for a bit and she’s most definitely now being packaged as a strong female/sex bomb/guitar hero.  I like her guitar playing though it’s not particularly groundbreaking.  Her singing is good, again nothing too wild or memorable.  She’s pretty funky but I wanted more funk.

@@@ Carrie Underwood: The Champion ( N/A, 2018). A country singer rocking a duet with Ludacris is absolutely today’s Ebony and Ivory moment.  I got to it via music honcho/blowhard Bob Lefsetz and his email list.  His taste is usually a big ol’ bag of ass, but I enjoy the listens because he is so hyperbolic.  It’s a smash, oh fuck off.  I would recommend listening to the video but not checking out the images as it’s chock full of American propaganda.  The only tune that references champions is the Queen track from back in the day and though that track is as cheesy it takes this tune out on a stretcher.  This is a bullshit, cliche cheese bomb and I hate it.  Ludacris does a breakdown of the word champion by saying the c stand for blah, the h for blah blah.  I had to click the tune off 30 seconds from the end, it’s fucking awful.

YTD recordings listened to: 126
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 66
Not good music: 57

Best: 2
Honorable Mentions: 3

Possibles: Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity, Tuba Skinny, The Expanders, Irreversible Entanglements, Converge, Open Mike Eagle, Criolo, Billy Strings, Flowers of Sulphur, Melissa Laveaux

Music for 8/8/17!!! Brett Eldredge, Briana Marela, Dead Cross, Jack Johnson

@@@ Brett Eldredge: Brett Eldredge (Atlantic, 2017)  I love contemporary country, it makes me shit my pants!  This record is on the front of the Apple music home page and at the top of last week’s All Music notable release email.  This first tune is upbeat, no opioid addicts allowed!  Handclaps, an echoed guitar figure and a friendly voice.  Such a friendly voice, like Donald Trump slipping into your bed at midnight with a giant orange erection and a verbal tic.  Let me love you Donald whispers, I’m so lonely my mail-order wife just left me!  The second tune gets more mainstream with a Bon Jovi bass line and a quasi- classic FM rock beat.  Oh Jesus, I love it!  One more tune, the third one, with synths and he’s never seen  your kind of pretty.  This is not cliche, this is familiar and friendly and epic and more than a bit cheesy.

@@@ Briana Marela: Call It Love (Jagjaguwar, 2017)  Also off this week’s All Music notable release email.  Female angels people, draped in reverb and sitting atop cloudy synth patches!  No dirty underwear (or opioid addicts) in this clean and lovely world.  It’s morphed from the intro to a New Age sorta rock.  Let’s peep a bit more but I’m not long for this record I fear.  Remember, I want to like it, I really do.  This second tune is a jacket sewn from the same cloth — hyper twee with a standard drum beat.  It does bust out into a crazy and interesting EDM sorta stomp but this isn’t really aimed at me as I’m dead inside.

@@@ Dead Cross: Dead Cross (Ipecac, 2017)  Some hardcore punk to clear my mind after that last record which kinda fucked me up.  They whip up a pretty good shitstorm in this first tune and the singer is kinda glammy or heavy metal for hardcore.  Just my opinion.  I see from gathering a video from the GooglePimp that these guys are a sort of supergroup and the singer is from, well I don’t know these bands and they don’t specify the player’s positions.  It’s like Megadeth humped a punk band, let’s put it that way.  It’s not a formula I love but check it for yourself.

@@@ Jack Johnson: Sunsets for Somebody Else (Jack Johnson, 2017)  A pre-release single from Gen X’s Jimmy Buffett.  Super slack and unthreatening and sending out all manner of airy vibes.  I like his vocal delivery and the guitar playing is pretty if not standard but the lyrics, eh not my cup of tea.  And I remain consistently against the woo hoo background vocals from anybody.

YTD recordings listened to: 510
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 278
Not good music: 210

Buys: 8
Honorable Mentions: 6

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, 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, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom, Priests, Propaganda, This is the Kit, Roberto Gonzalez, Integrity

Music for 6/14/17!!! Ruby Force, Gloom, Couleur Dessin, DJ Khaled

@@@ Ruby Force: Cowboy ( N/A, 2017)  Named a new artist to watch by Rolling Stone Country this is a single off an upcoming full length.  It’s a hayseed cool breeze of a love song.  Some chill honky tonk piano, strummed acoustic guitar and sweet vocal stylings.  At around two minutes the tune gets more energetic and from the snippets of the video that I peeped this it’s a hipster cowboy flirt-fest.  Pretty standard stuff.

@@@ Gloom: Solaris (eOne, 2017)  I’m expecting some gloom metal from a band called gloom.  I know that’s the kind of insight my regular readers expect from my daily missives but this first tune is not very gloomy it’s a mid tempo monster with some very fine distorted guitar sounds, boot stomping drumming with occasional thrashy outburst and a singer that is generally losing his shit.  Not a little bit of shit getting lost here, he’s really letting all his bad feelings out.  And good for him!  I really like this first tune, let’s peep more.  The second tune is even less gloomy I’m really being proven wrong on this gloomy prediction.  These guys are pleasantly math-y as their tunes twerk from one idea to another without being unfocused.  They also incorporate more than a bit of post-rock mainstream rocking without busting out the cheese.  Jesus, this singer is ridiculous!

@@@ Couleur Dessin: Couleur Dessin (Fixture, 2017)  Labelled as pop on the Apple Music it opens up sort Breeders without the guitars.  Kinda playful.  Now it’s moved into an XTC art school kind of thing.  Interesting for sure and not your standard indie — thank God for that.  I’m on the third tune and it’s really not a rock record.  It’s got some interesting sounds and the singer is adept and strange which I like.  Lilting and weird.

@@@ DJ Khaled: To the Max (feat. Drake) Motherfuckers know how much I love Drake so if there’s a guest spot (and it’s a rarity for him to pop up somewhere with a guest noodle) I have to get on it and peep.  DJ Khaled is a bombastic fellow but when Drake shuts his pie hole he brings some bass for real.  Otherwise the arrangement is more of a club banger with some skitter and some ambientized (that’s right I made that shit up) than a hip hop thing.  The track is at its best when Drake is not on the mic

YTD recordings listened to: 363
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 206
Not good music: 141

Buys: 5
Honorable Mentions: 2

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee, Forro in the Dark, RAM, Oumou Sangare, Fiver, Dona Onete, Succumb Succumb, Gloom

Music for 3/29/17!!! Enragement, Joe Marson, Tim McGraw/Faith Hill

@@@ Enragement: Blood for the Sun God (Enragement, 2017) An epic metal single I got to from the indie music blog Indiepulse.  A monster walking tempo with a punishing drummer and massive guitar bludgeoning and shredding sauce.  The singer is rough but not totally incomprehensible.  There are a few operatic flourishes, a little prog, and a little Lord of the Rings evil chanting action so it’s a blend of a lot of sounds.

@@@ Joe Marson: Explore/Explode (Per Diem, 2017)  Slotted as an alt-soul artist on an Indiepulse blog post, it’s a bit of white boy falsetto, a little John Mayer soft rock, and a little electro in the production.  It’s got a tinge of melancholy and a little arena rock in there as well.  I like some of the sounds, especially the guitar but the beats are not quite up my alley.

@@@ Tim McGraw & Faith Hill: Speak to a Girl (sony, 2016)  A new country cheese ballad  off the Apple Music hot tracks section.  It has a lot of advice on how to speak to a girl but then there are some lines about being nice to your mama which is a little Freudian. I would say that this tune is metaphorically a smooth cream cheese — big reverb, heartfelt lyrics and a straight Kentucky Fried Disney soundtrack production sound.  Somebody should send this tune to ol’ President Grab-A-Pussy, that’s about all it’s good for.

YTD recordings listened to: 206
Good music, not recommended for purchase: 109
Not good music: 78

Buys: 1
Honorable Mentions: 1

Possibles: Chris McGregor, Dave Arner Trio, Zomby, Retox, Defeater, Jonwayne, Okkyung Lee, The Ballantynes, Slidhr, The Chewers, Toxic Holocaust, Susie Iberra/Roberto Rodriguez, Lenguas Largas, The Coral, T.O.M.B., Fofoulah, Lozen, Erase Errata, Mastery, Leviathan, Hartley C. White, Weed, Cold Water, Janelle Monae, Luther Dickinson, Graeme Barrett, Fast Asleep, Goldlink, Cavanaugh, Gentleman Surfer, Satoko Fuji, Divanhana, Moken, Juan Atkins, Drone, Lantern, Twin Peaks, Djelimady Tounkara, The Oh Sees, Denny Zeitlin, MILF, Unfun, De La Soul, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Magrudergrind, A Tribe Called Quest, Noname, Gouge Away, Anna Hogberg, Klara Lewis, Aethenor, Krullur, The Lowest Form, Hard Proof, James Brandon Lewis, Yotoco, Tinariwen, Jungle Fire, Sandoz, Power Trip, Reverend Payton, J.I.D., Oddisee