Thandi Ntuli-The Offering

Alright, so another music post but at least this time I focus on one project…Right!? Guys?? Please don’t leave!


Well, last night I had an epiphany. I’m picky about my jazz. The problem is that I really can’t afford to be. Jazz is a well established genre complete with sub-genres and strange offshoots but it is probably the least popular form of music in the world (idk this is conjecture). These artists need our support though; they deserve all the recognition and attention that pop garners. The problem is that when your favorite pop artist makes a song with a little jazz influence, it is heralded while true jazz musicians starve. For example, look at the acclaim To Pimp A Butterfly received or how popular La La Land was upon release. Jazz can work if properly presented to the public but only in small doses because the attention span just isn’t there. I got way off topic. My point was that I’m picky because like EDM, there is so much jazz and so much of it can be similar. For me it takes something special; some innovation, a new approach to rhythm/melody or extreme skill to keep me engaged and win me over. This isn’t the birth of jazz, you don’t get brownie points for knowing how to play your instrument and presenting a solid solo.

That brings me to Thandi Ntuli and her album The Offering released in 2014. I had never heard of this South African pianist until yesterday when I was told to check her out. She hails from Capetown where she studied jazz in college there as well. My initial reaction to the album was that Ntuli has a strong grasp of the things that make great jazz as well as a formidable command of her instrument. Technically, there is nothing wrong with the project. The players execute things very well and Thandi makes commendable songwriting decisions that hold my interest. There is a wealth of solos by everyone and, I will contradict this later, a lot of them are very non-masturbatory. This sentiment actually bleeds out to the whole album and I appreciate the restraint. There is no “Look at me! I can blaze over these chord changes!” My favorite solos occur in the tracks “201 Aa”(the first piano solo) and “Uz’ubuye(Intro)”, the latter of which is just a five minute piano solo. I was told that which makes Ntuli so great is that she has great command of the the alto region and after listening I can understand that statement. She stays in her bag and does so much in that space.

But…but…I…I just want more. I set super high expectations with this album for two main reasons. I have recently listened to Mark Guiliana’s Jersey and Christian Scott’s Emancipation Procrastination and those projects blew me away. I thought I was hitting a hot streak. The second reason was all I knew about this project was it is South African jazz. I was strapped in and ready for new rhythms, possibly a wealth of auxiliary percussion and other musings that represented the artist’s home. Sure we get track listings and the DOPE cover art but outside of that, it is just a jazz album.

The other issue is that the lack of risk/innovation. Now, I’m very aware that this could be a personal opinion but I stand by it at the risk of sounding stupid. This lack of risk taking is mostly felt through structure and in the solos. I applauded this safeness earlier because its ideas are executed well but I will contradict myself here. At no point did I feel like any of the players were just going for it. I wanted blood. I wanted to imagine that after a solo people were exhausted, someone’s mom was crying, wigs tossed. Obviously that doesn’t belong on every project but The Offering definitely had some room for it. There is a trumpet solo on “H.T.” where I feel like dude was heating up a little bit but then the guitar solo afterwards does in fact cook. Outside of that and half of “Uz’ubuye”…*shrugs* tasteful and controlled solos. There is one exception. On the second track “Contemplation” and the last song, “In Between Spaces” we get pretty lackluster drum solos which is a shame because the space given is so perfect.

Overall, The Offering is really good. I can always appreciate well made music that is recorded well. Highlights for me include the aforementioned “201 Aa” and  both “Uz’ubuye” tracks. Thandi Ntuli is now on my radar and she has an album coming out this year. Hopefully she continues to grow and comes with fresh ideas. I appreciate this recommendation and this album.

Check it out here:

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Fresh(ish) Bop Friday 10/20/17

Uhhhhh

I heard somewhere, “If you wait until you feel like writing, you’ll never start.” So here were are. Yes, I skipped a week (again). Yes, this has seemingly turned into exclusively a music blog (I’m sorry, that will change…but not today, it’s Friday. Duh.) 


So last week was cool and this week is kind of light so this worked out a bit. Still this post will be kind of light because I’m exhausted.  

Lies. This turned into a long thing.

Image result for dancing gif

Taylor Swift-Gorgeous

My expectations of Taylor are kind of gone and I’m just waiting for the full album before I care anymore. “Gorgeous”, Swift’s newest single, is totally fine. The instrumental kind of reminds me of video game music in its whimsical synths and almost 8 bit-like drums. It doesn’t suck so that’s good. At this point I’m just glad that the last two singles weren’t anywhere as bad as “Look What You Made Me Do” *barf*.

Future, Young Thug-Super Slimey

I’m like halfway through this but I don’t feel like much will change as I progress through the project. This takes me back to early 2017 with its fully trap fill beats with Future and Young Thug spitting over top. It definitely knocks but has that odd emotional touch that both rappers bring to their music along with the women, money, drug stuff. Maybe since the middle of the year when I dove into pop music I have kept up with hip hop less but this almost feels dated? It’s perfect to have on while you write (heh) or process paperwork at work. Meh.

Christian Scott and Jessie Ware

These two artists are so good. I’m combining them because I haven’t listened to their albums YET but I will. I’m sure they will both be great.

Christian Scott is a young trumpet player whose roots in jazz and makes his music soar through genres such as R&B, rock, and obviously jazz. He plays with so much heart; you can feel it when he plays. His last project was incredible and at times it felt like he deferred the melodic load to other instruments. It’s so much more than just a trumpet album, it is an full fledged project that happens to led by trumpet. I expect The Emancipation Procrastination to be no different. Oh and this dude has released three albums already this year………

Everything about Jessie Ware is beautiful. She just seems like the nicest woman ever. I listened to her first album Devotion a ton when it came out and kind of fell in love with her pure voice. Her smooth contemporary R&B/pop sound is just so delicious and warm. I knew this project was coming out but somehow completely forgot that it was today. I just listened to the first song on Glassdoor and it’s absolutely wonderful. Randomly, I had a though like “Oooh if Demi was like way more mature, this could fit at the end of her last album”. Really looking forward to this one. Just looked her up and found out she’s married so my life no long has meaning.

Stuff from last week

I did this to myself but I did want to touch on a few projects that came out last week that really deserve to be talked about.

Gucci Mane-Mr. Davis

Honestly, this is the first Gucci album I’ve listened to the whole way through. Currently, Gucci features on one of my current favorite songs and he’s also kind of just winning at life. Mr. Davis clocks in a hair over an hour and you can tell. Like I know we’ve been waiting for this full length for awhile but near the end it felt like rehashed topics and beats. The feature list on this album is great though. It was good but I can’t see myself coming back to it over and over again.

Beck-Colors

Man, I don’t know anything about Beck. My knowledge of him goes as far as “Oh he’s the dude that one Album of the Year over Beyonce that one year.” Anyway, I try not to be ignorant so when I saw that Colors had dropped last week, I figured I would give it a chance. What the fuck? It’s so good! The first song is such a well produced uptempo pop/rock masterpiece. A healthy amount of pan flute, claps, and drums set a perfect stage for Beck’s vocal performance complete with many additional vocal parts. It’s a great way to start an album. From there it doesn’t really stop in its excellent production even if some of the ideas aren’t the most interesting. The song “Wow” is a little weird but I kinda dig it. Anyway this was a surprise and now I have to go back and peep the catalog.

St. Vincent-MASSEDUCTION

So…like…I love St. Vincent. It’s a big deal when my dad is like, “Justin, you gotta check this girl out.” I remember watching her perform on Austin City Limits all those years ago and falling in love with this weird, pale, guitar shredding woman. Her music is all the eccentricity and brilliance that I was pretentious about back in like 2010. So she has a great deal of great credit with me that will allow her to slip up every once in awhile and remain absolutely adored by myself. I thought MASSEDUCTION was her about to dip into that reserve when I heard some of the singles. She’d seemingly all but abandoned the indie rock, damn near orchestral turns of her early work and replaced it with sharp synths. To her credit, it was all still working and I loved it. I neeeeed artists that I love to show growth and innovation but maybe we were about to go a step too far. The result is yeah, she went there but I still liked it. It is synth heavy and programmed drums all day. She still creates interesting melodies and rhythms but the instrumentation has changed. It’s still weird and still undeniably St. Vincent. That being said it is not even close to my favorite of her work. After I got over the initial shock of the albums differentness (that is definitely not a word) I still found it quite enjoyable.

 

Ok that’s enough. There was a TON of good stuff that came out last week and today so go try to listen to it. I will be going back to listen to Glassdoor because the first couple songs kinda won’t let me go.

 

Fresh Bop Friday 10/6/2017

Kinda light week but here we go. I was greatly distracted by stuff.

I was busy today. 


As I type out this intro I am listening to Kelela’s Take Me Apart It’s good and unlike the Latina wave that’s rising, I’m all for this women led modern R&B movement. SZA, Syd, Solange (AND MORE DON’T @ ME) have lead the way in this vibe but you can add Kelela’s name to that list. Maybe she’s been poppin’ but I haven’t heard of her until this week. Sweet almost delicate voice that dances over well produced tracks. It’s relevant and it sounds good. I’ll have to finish it when I’m done talking about the other stuff.

Sam Smith-“Pray”

The first seven seconds of this song are very confusing for me. “Ooh we’re gonna get a bouncy piano driven diddly…no it’s an islandy bop because that first measure of drums definitely felt spicy. Oh, it’s a slowish Sam Smith song.” I promise I don’t hate Sam Smith but I just want more. This song is Sam looking for answers to his problems and finally turning to prayer. The problem I have with this is that he spends a good chunk of the song letting the listener know that he doesn’t believe in God or religion. “Everyone prays in the end” yeah they suuuure do but that’s not how it should work and WOW I’M ABOUT TO GET ON A SOAPBOX. Growing up in church I’ve become very skeptical of people that randomly turn to prayer. You were an atheist yesterd…HOLY MOLY I’M DOING IT AGAIN. Choir sounds good even though they are being used to reinforce not believing in basic church things and then the tropey double clap at the end. Ugh. Whatever. Whatever. Whatever. Production and vocals sound good. I don’t know why the religious aspect of this rubbed me the wrong way.

Lauv-“Easy Love”

I haven’t heard of this dude before but I liked the album art. This song bumps. I like how it begins with the synths and vocals. The drums come in at the chorus and really turns into something really groovy. Lauv uses cool rhythms to sing over the instrumental and the whole thing is just…cool. There are strings that hang in the back, well crafted harmonies and a random guitar bit during the bridge. “Easy Love” is put together well and I will be checking out some of Lauv’s other stuff.

Charlie Puth-“How Long”

So I’ve been listening to “Attention” and “We Don’t Talk Anymore” A LOT recently. Those songs are good. No qualifiers needed. Good voice, production and interesting. So when I saw this, I figured I’d check it out. This song is fine. Pretty unoffensive and formulaic. Decently upbeat, slow bridge. Meh, it’s there.

Metro Boomin’-“Blue Pill” ft Travis Scott

Just saw this. No way am I not about to talk about this. Beat wunderkind Metro Boomin’ and soon to be father, Travis Scott dropped this hazy, kinda hard track presumably about drugs. I like the beat with its deep bass tones and high pitched synths. Feels like there’s a bunch of auto-tuned singing in the middle but I will listen to Travis rap verses all day. It’s not super hype but I got a lil stank face. I’ve been THIRSTIN’ for new Travis so this was a welcome surprise. Thank you for this.

Other Stuff

Marilyn Manson dropped an album. Out of pure curiosity, I skipped through a few songs and I’m worried I may like it…so I stopped.

Maroon 5 is an embarrassment to who they once were. I do not care at all if it has made them more famous. “Help Me Out” is wack.

P!nk released another single.

The Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack came out and I’m excited to hear it….after I watch the movie. I saw the original Blade Runner earlier this week and thoroughly enjoyed it. The music was also AMAZING. I have full faith in the Hans Zimmer so I’m sure this is fantastic but I’ll wait.

A bunch of hip hop came out by lesser known artist the past two weeks that I have just ignored because I’ve been busy but go listen to it. I’m sure some of it is good.

 

GO LISTEN TO MUSIC

 

 

 

 

GUNS

I swear yall, this is not a political blog. It’s just been a crazy couple weeks. 


There is no denying that there are problems in our country. People will admit things are wrong but will shift the blame to make themselves feel better. I want to talk about this Vegas situation and the returning argument about gun control. We know what happened, I’m not going to rehash the situation. People are saying that America has a gun issue. “What’s the purpose of a civilian owning a machine gun?” and “There needs to be a stricter process for people trying to obtain guns.” While others posit, “Should I be punished for the actions of a few? I’m not crazy.” and the ever present “Guns don’t kill, people kill,” statement. I don’t know where I fall in this argument but I’m going to work out my thoughts.

Paris Las Vegas was dimmed to honor victims. 

The other week I defended the kneeling in the NFL not only because I believe in Kaepernick’s original cause but because the country players live in allows them to do so. So how does that freedom of choice relate to the next highest constitutional right? Sure the law was written hundreds of years ago but it still exists despite its glaring issues. One of its many problems is the context around when it was written compared to the modern era. The primary purpose of a firearm should be for protection of one’s property and to a lesser degree, sport. Obviously that has not been the case as guns have been the center of tons of unnecessary deaths. So just have the government take the guns away. Simple?

Nope.

The much bigger problem is that the United States has a mental health problem. No normal person goes on an “unmotivated” killing spree. People don’t up and kill themselves to the surprise of friends and family. Aside: I REALLY  REALLY REALLY REALLY hate how it is seemingly glorified now to have some sort of mental issue. Like sure, you went through something traumatic or whatever the case may be but you shouldn’t let that define you or project that as your defining trait. Get the help you need and try to be the best person you can be. End Rant. Now yes, that is easier said than done especially with the history of oppression mental health has faced in this country but strides have been made to alleviate that stigma. It’s not enough though and I don’t know when it will ever be enough. How can you even start to help people that 1. don’t know they are sick 2. are afraid to get help. Then one day you get pissed and they kill a bunch of people. How do you prevent that? Justin, we already said it. Take away the guns or reform the gun laws.

But what will that solve? People won’t have access to semi-automatic weapons but a majority of the gun crime is from handheld guns. Oh, I don’t have a gun check out this bomb I made from household products. Also, do we really trust the government to be able to stop themselves from taking over everything. Let’s bring back prohibition to stop DUI related deaths. Let’s ban the internet to stop porn from ruining our minds. These are super extreme examples but there are people out there that wholly believe that the loss of our guns is the beginning of the death of our freedom…

So this brings us back to the mental health issue. What’s the solution? More money in programs that help those in need, research that looks for earlier signs of problems. Some how getting rid of the fear of the stigma or admitting one has problem and a willingness to go get help–which I see as the biggest hurdle. This is valiant and important work but all of this will take a great deal of time.

So while we tackle the much more difficult people problem, we can more “immediately” (would still take mad long) reform gun laws. I don’t hate guns. I’ve never shot one and I actually really want to. I have no problem with hunting and Olympic events. Guns are relied on a great deal in action movies and you’re not going to stop watching them. Unfortunately, we can’t afford to keep having tragedies like Las Vegas. Crazy people don’t need guns to hurt people but that doesn’t mean we should give them out like candy while we work on a better solution that appeases everyone.

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Deny

Fresh Bop Friday 9/29/2017

OK YEAH I KNOW, I SKIPPED A WEEK


But last week was trash I didn’t/still don’t care about Macklemore. This week was much better and things that I cared about dropped.

So I’m back yo!

J Balvin, Willy Williams-“Mi Gente” Ft Beyonce

Did not get to work and expect to see new Beyonce. Apparently the original song came out awhile ago but this version with Bey is brand new.

IT. KNOCKS.

A majority of it is in Spanish by all three artists but there is a verse in English by the queen. Her Spanish doesn’t sound bad and obviously her English is fine. Overall the vocal performances are great and flow over the instrumental quite nicely. The instrumental is dominated by what sounds like a some sort of vocal sample which repeats throughout the whole song. I love it. I’m still weary if this Latin vibe is the new wave because of how excessively boring “Despacito” is but maybe “Mi Gente” is a step in the right direction. I like this a lot, good job yall.

Kimbra-“Everybody Knows”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She’s back. ALERT ALERT ALERT! SHE. IS. BACK. Ugh, I love this woman so much. Kimbra cannot make bad music. After her last full length release three years ago (help) us Kimbra stans were starved. Sure we got little nibs here and there but it is confirmed that dinner is almost ready. “Everybody Knows” is exactly what I wanted to hear; from the slowly building, layered instrumental to her always stellar vocals. The ever present groove to her music is there along with her just as prevalent quirk. YES!

Demi Lovato-Tell Me You Love Me

We’ve been waiting for this and now it finally here. First let’s lay down some facts. 1. Demi has always been my favorite girl to come out of the Disney/Nickelodeon wheel 2. She can flat out sing. 3. She’s so hot.

Anyway, Tell Me You Love Me is good! I would say the average tempo of the entire project is lower than usual? I don’t know, it felt like the whole thing slowed down right in the middle and only picked up a smidge as we approached the end. Don’t confuse slow with boring though, the songs are well made and still interesting. “Ruin the Friendship” is an absolute highlight for me with it’s pronounced bass line, tasteful horn lines and is seemingly one of the few tracks that don’t have much studio affects on the vocals. I’m sure they all do but it seems a lot more obvious on many other songs and I’m not sure if that’s on purpose or not. My favorite section of the album is the last four songs from “Games” to the end. Hit after hit after hit ending with the hype and dancey “Instruction.” This is nicely put together so well done Demi.

Tennyson-Uh Oh!

My man is a genius. Tennyson has the best drum programming in the glitchy electronic game. Don’t @ me. This new EP has a lot to live up to considering Like What is a masterpiece. Well, Uh Oh! is darn good. All the random real world sounds, interesting synth lines, intricate beats and pauses are back in classic Tennyson fashion. Throw Aloe Blacc’s dope voice on track and this is a wholly enjoyable sixteen minutes of music

 

Other stuff:

Miley Cyrus dropped “Younger Now” which I have no reason to listen to AND heard was gaaahbij

Pink released a song. It sounded like a Pink song.

Shania Twain released an album. Sorry, didn’t listen to this.

PARTYNEXTDOOR put out an EP. I’ll listen to it but I’m tired of writing and this paperwork is piling up on my desk.

 

Bend the Knee

Ugh…I hate everything


It’s naive to think we could just all get along. The issue is that when things were less divisive the problems in the country just got ignored by the majority. Now that we have a tactless and sensitive president these issues are being brought to the forefront. People are now emboldened to be just as crazy as they want to be. Now, I did not want Trump to be president. I didn’t vote for him BUT I had a sliver of hope that his presumably and shockingly bad political turn could bring the country together.

NOPE

I was right that it would be shockingly bad but clearly had too much faith in our country.

So this past week, Trump stated “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired.'” Unsurprisingly this was met with cheers from the crowd in *sigh* Alabama. Now compare this to his statements concerning Charlottesville, “You have people who are very fine people on both sides.” So you mean to tell me that people doing this should be given a chance to prove they are good people but this is flat out unacceptable to the point where you (THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES) are insulting them? Got it.

This past weekend we saw similar protests around the league but for a very different reason than what Colin Kaepernick originally sat/kneeled for. Kaepernick did it to protest the inequality of people of color in this country. His words, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” The murdering of black people was a hot topic last year and as obvious a problem as any. This was Colin’s way of bringing attention to an issue that he felt strongly about. It worked by garnering attention but the conversation quickly shifted to the method of protest and not the reasoning behind it.

I saw a ton of tweets and Facebook posts of people up in arms about the protests. “Kneeling is disrespectful to the flag, this country and the men who died for your freedom,” they said.

Huh.

Let’s define freedom:

noun

  1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

Perfect! Right? Apparently not.

Freedom of speech is a much more complex definition but at the core it states that one has the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint. Obviously that has its limitation but it is the highest protected constitutional right that we should not take for granted. Included in such freedoms is the right to speak out about the United States and its very real faults. We are free to fight for change with the same vigor that people fight to keep their guns. This means the military fights for those freedoms, not for personal glory. At some point (probs WW2) a great deal of people figured the flag represented the armed forces and not the ideals they were supposedly fighting for; ideals that should be extended to every person in this nation. It would be absurd to think that instead of fighting for the freedom of choice people were instead fighting for blind loyalty.

Tangent: Pretending the USA is a perfect nation that has only recently lost its way is hubris and ignorance. This country has always had social problems, we just weren’t connected with the entire world like we are now with the advent of the internet and rise of social media. Also, the generations before us were raised to think that everyone should glorify the military because they fought to protect the freedoms we hold dear in admittedly important wars. Now everyone has a voice, everyone has a camera. Injustices can be posted and go viral in a heartbeat. Dissenting opinions also gain a following and make their voices heard. In a perfect world this would be great, people could discuss their differences in opinion in a respectful manner with people they would have never met. The world isn’t even close to perfect so that does not happen. People get dragged and there is not even a chance of meaningful discourse before it turns to insults and memery. 

If vets think it is disrespectful to kneel then they are clearly unaware of the mission of the armed forces of this country. I don’t support the human troops themselves, I support the cause they fight for even if they don’t realize it themselves. People can join the military for a multitude of reasons whether it be financial, honest patriotism, or just because they want to shoot a gun. In the end they are fighting for the people of this country and I have the utmost respect for someone who will lay down their life to protect those basic human rights. You signed up for that, I don’t mind if you stand. You’re fighting to protect my right to rage at the president. It’s not about you, soldier, it’s about all of us. It’s a huge deal…just peep the budget.

But if all the people in this great nation aren’t being treated equally, then what is being protected? The status quo. Comfort. Privilege has made people so stuck in their ways that anything they deem wrong is an abomination and unpatriotic. These protests are really rubbing people the wrong way, which is hypocritical of the kneel dissenters.

The right loves to say that the PC culture of the left is making everyone soft and to a point, I agree. People hunt and thrive on finding something to be offended about to the point where I wonder, “Can you enjoy anything at all?” Which the answer is yes because they are hypocrites; I saw you singing that Chris Brown (who beats women) song last week. The funny thing is that now those same people are SO BUTT HURT about this kneeling situation. They threaten to boycott the NFL and boo those athletes at football games. Hilariously, when Steelers’ player Alejandro Villanueva took to the tunnel to stand for the anthem, his jerseys sold out. YOU’RE STILL SUPPORTING THE BUSINESS YOU SWORE TO BOYCOTT BY GIVING THEM MONEY.

All I’m saying is tell me what would you prefer athletes to do? Would you rather people start killing those deemed white supremacists? What if all the black athletes just stopped playing their respective sports? I don’t have the answers but I fully support those that kneel because they live in a country where that is their right. Telling black athletes to just stick to sports is just as bad (racist) because now they are just entertainment and money making entities. Athletes become heroes to millions and if they shouldn’t use their influence to drive a positive change then you are reducing them to temporary slaves. Well paid, yes. Possibly disconnected, definitely. At least they are doing something that is seen by millions of people. When was the last time you did ANYTHING that affected that amount of people? Go Google what Colin Kaepernick or Lebron James are doing for the upcoming generation. I honestly don’t care about the motivation behind it but the resources being poured into helping communities are tangible.

Look, I love the national anthem (the actual song) and I recognize the great opportunities that have been afforded me by living here. I will not act like all people are treated equally in this country. These protests are peaceful, not hurting anyone (save people’s feelings) and alerting others that there are people out there that think there is a problem. Whether it creates change or not is yet to be seen because the focus has changed.

If anything, it is more patriotic to draw attention to these concerns because fixing them would actually make America great for once. Kneel or stand because that choice is the most American thing one can do.

Fresh Bop Friday 9/15/2017

Look up the songs yourself


OK well New Music Friday might have blew its load last week because this week was LIGHT when it came to releases I cared about. I decided to start a series and apparently my brain won’t let me stop it after one week…my adoring fans are so lucky. Here is the new stuff I cared about listened to today:

Niall Horan-“Too Much To Ask”

This song is boring. I’m trying to give the 1D boys a chance to be on their own but I think I’ve liked one song from the stuff I’ve heard. This song is clearly about a break up but the lyrics are nothing special. Sure one line in the chorus pulled on a string that I didn’t want it too and I think I got mad at it for eliciting any emotion at all (I have a problem). Niall’s voice is fine but like I said it’s boring.

Bjork-“the gate”

So like, I think I like Bjork. I saw that she put out a new song and figured I’d give it a shot. Oh, it’s six minutes and the title is all lowercase. *groan* The first half is singing and woodwinds ambiently doing stuff. The second half is full of swelling sounds and words that I can now understand. There is still no beat which is fine but it seems like there is no direction either. She cares for you because she says it over and over again. This seems half-hearted from me so I’m not gonna just bash it because I didn’t like it. Song just seemed unnecessary.

Post Malone-“Rockstar”

This is very laid back and trappy. Post’s voice is great and works over this kind of instrumental so well. He speaks about being a rockstar and it’s not game breaking lyricism but I really like this track. There’s a 21 Savage feature that has some fun lines. “Ask me Savage why you got a 12 car garage and you only got 6 cars” and “Your wifey say I’m looking like whole snack” are just hilarious to me. The song is called “Rockstar” and 21’s first line mentions that he’s doing something that makes him feel like popstar. Purposeful or not, I love it. For Post, the chorus is cool with rhymes that I wouldn’t even think of. Rockstar, rasta, shottas and mouthed gun sounds (ala Big T) that he makes rhyme too. I do actually hate gun sounds being spoken but it rhymes so…no wait, I still hate it. Anyway, the vocal performance overall is nice and makes for a really solid song.

Lorde-“Homemade Dynamite(Remix)”

Not gonna lie I didn’t look at the name of track before I played it. Just saw Lorde’s name and played it. It’s a remix featuring Khalid, Post Malone (double tapping this list) and SZA (squeals) of a song from Melodrama. I’m pretty sure they kept the instrumental pretty much the same and just added the features. Khalid and Posty sound good but don’t add too much to the song. The male voices on the chorus honestly do fill it out quite nicely similarly to Tove Lo on Years & Years “Desire” but that’s it. What I like about this track the most is hearing the two distinct styles between the two ladies and how they approach rhythms in their melodies. Lorde and SZA both have rhythms they are clearly comfy with and I love it over the same instrumental.

Angus & Julia Stone-“Sleep Alone”

These two released an album today! It’s called Snow and upon first listen, it is pleasantly pleasant. Well made indie folk music that was great to have on while I did work this morning. One song that really stood out to me was “Sleep Alone.” I love the drums and the trading between Angus and Julia during the verses. There are some production affects to Julia’s voice throughout the chorus and the bridge that add some flair. Angus kind of sounds like Mac Miller here? This is quite nice.

Randomly, I remember listening to “Big Jet Plane” over and over and over again a bunch of years ago. I was entranced by it.

Nick Jonas-Find You

Not really a super fan of Nick Jonas’ stuff.  Joe is doing better with D.N.C.E. That being said, I didn’t absolutely hate this.

 

Ok that’s enough. Other notable releases:

Gucci Mane-“Curve ft The Weeknd” Meh

The Killers-“Some Kind of Love” It’s slow

 

Foo Fighters-Concrete and Gold Will probably listen to this later

Rebecca Black-RE/BL Yes, that Rebecca Black. Will be listening to this EP because the first song was cool. Don’t sleep

Bye. Enjoy your weekend. I love most of you.