So far, my reaction to this new Courtney Barnett record has been “this is really good, but not that exciting”. Which is a pretty shitty reaction, considering anything really good should be appreciated at face value for its really good-ness. But, maybe chock it up to the fact that Barnett released an unsurprisingly solid collaboration with Kurt Vile last year, and therefore it feels like it hasn’t been that long since we’ve heard from her, despite the fact that it’s been three years since her tremendous 2015 solo debut. Continue reading
Upon hearing the first single from Janelle Monáe’s latest album, “Make Me Feel”, my first reaction was, “wow, that sounds a lot like Prince”. Which shouldn’t be surprising, considering Prince came up the last time I reviewed a Janelle Monáe album, which Prince actually appeared on. So it’s not a stretch to assume that since The Purple One’s passing, he’s been on the minds of a lot of R&B/pop artists of Monáe’s sensibilities, which kind of brings up an interesting idea. Continue reading
In my review of Transformers: The Last Knight, I brought up the Writers Room, the surprisingly talented group of people tasked with turning the aging toy-themed movie franchise into a Marvel-style cinematic universe. Well, as much as the MCU seems to be the sole vision of Kevin Feige, the truth is they had something like the Writers Room of their own, back in the day. It was called the “Marvel Creative Committee” and has been implied to be the source of everything bad that ever happened.
I’ve liked Philadelphia indie rockers Hop Along for a while now, but I think I’ve only recently cracked the code as to what makes them special. And that’s that on first listen they seem like the most typical amalgam of what an indie rock band would be expected to sound like: the crunchy guitars, the sneaky rhythmic patterns, the token lady lead singer surrounded by bearded bandmates. But when you actually listen to them closely, there are a lot of things that make Hop Along less than typical: the odd song structures, the leftfield brazenness, and a lady lead singer whose explosive vocals are far more raw and uncompromising than pretty much any lead singer going right now. Continue reading
Sometimes, there are albums that are so easy to love that you don’t really have words to sufficiently describe your feelings for them. But, I suppose that gets at what is remarkable about Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, as it aims to capture a feeling that so many songs fail to. Which is a kind of love song ensconced in calmness. The other Kacey Musgraves albums I’ve heard seem to have a kind of slight neuroses to undercut all of Musgraves’ pangeant girl charms. And here, she seems completely comfortable with being herself, as well as with the idea of falling for somebody that gets her even if she doesn’t entirely get (or care) why. Continue reading
Frankie Cosmos’ Vessel is the kind of record I feel obligated to write about (since the last Frankie Cosmos album was my #3 album of 2016), but I’m not sure what to write about it. There really isn’t anything particularly different about it from the minutely awesome The Next Thing. Greta Kline’s songs here are just as simultaneously hushed and pulsating as ever, while she still seems quite overwhelmed by the world outside her bedroom, with little desire to do much else other than write a concise, poppy song about it. Continue reading
Much like in life, the hardest thing as a music fan is to constantly keep yourself open to new things. I know I’ve heard numerous times that your early 20s are about the time that people stop listening to newer music, and of course, I’m a few years into this constant struggle. But even if you are someone like me, who finds themselves seeking out new artists, these new artists often end up sounding something like Car Seat Headrest or Courtney Barnett. Who are great, for sure, but they’re not too far off from other artists you’ve loved in the past. Continue reading