Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New songs for April 26th 2017

here they are:

"In My World" by Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie: Not surprisingly, this duet from half of Fleetwood Mac sounds like, well, Fleetwood Mac. The throbbing bass line and its accompanying beat recall Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams", although the guitar arrangements for the song are entirely acoustic, unlike the acoustic/electric mix Fleetwood Mac is typically known for. The lyrical content could be viewed as a long awaited sequel to their infamous "Rumours" album. In contrast with the rock and roll soap opera "Rumours" was, "In My World" is more of a "what could have been" scenario, with words like, "In my world everybody stays. Nobody wishes for words they couldn't say."

"On My Mind" by The Outdoor Type: If the word "hipster" weren't such a pejorative term, it would probably be used to describe songs like this one. "On My Mind" by The Outdoor Type is a song that is laid back but still sleek and trendy. The song also name drops three cities during the chorus: New York, Berlin, and Paris, all three of which are known for being popular tourist attractions. This song is as hip as it is heavenly, and so far there isn't another song quite like it.

"Total Entertainment Forever" by Father John Misty: Nothing says "hipster" (in a bad way) like providing snide commentary on the current music scene, and that's exactly what Father John Misty's "Total Entertainment Forever" does. Why even bother to like this song, then? Well, first of all, Father John Misty has that odd but irresistible combination of coupling sarcastic and/or abstract lyrics with happy, pleasant musical arrangements, which keeps a lot of his fans appealed to his style of musicianship. Second of all, though his commentary might be a little harsh, it's also very RIGHT! "Total Entertainment Forever" is basically about how the current generation of youngsters has access to whatever they want whenever they want. FJM's ability to poke fun at millennials while still being fully aware that he is one himself seems comparable to how people like Randy Newman viewed Generation X-ers back when they were the current generation.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blast from the past!! (And one more song)

Blondie and Red Hot Chili Peppers are two thirds of the new entries for the week?! Did I just take a trip in a time machine?! Nope, and even the third entry on this list sounds like it's from an older musician even though it isn't! Old is the new new, and here we go with this week's entries!

"Goodbye Angels" by Red Hot Chili Peppers: Not as reflective and soulful as "Dark Necessities" and not as much of a happy-go-lucky funk-rocker as "Go Robot", "Goodbye Angels", the third single from Red Hot Chili Peppers' latest album, is a song defined by its use of double-octave chords that gradually builds up into a faster song with fuller chords by the time the last 30 seconds or so kick in. Knowing the Peppers, "Angels" is probably a reference to their hometown (and mine), Los Angeles. The reference has occurred in a few of their songs, perhaps most famously "Under the Bridge", in which L.A. is referred to as the "City of Angels". The lyrics suggest it's about a girl(s), but the use of such imagery could be metaphorical for all I know. What is apparent is that the "goodbye" part of the song is a painful one, as the word "suicide" is mentioned a few times in the song. Whether this is the suicide of an actual person or the "suicide" (societal decay, perhaps?) of Los Angeles itself is unclear, but it's a bittersweet song nonetheless. I could do without the crazy buildup at the end, though.

"Long Time" by Blondie: Blondie?! Yes, THAT Blondie, the punk-cum-new-wave band from New York that pretty much screamed "girl power" in the late '70s and early '80s is back on the bandwagon!! Don't expect a powerful, gutsy rocker in the vein of "One Way Or Another", though. Debbie has mellowed out this time around, although this makes sense given how she is now 71 years old. No longer interested in melding the attitude of The Ramones with the harmonies of The Ronettes, she now turns to current electro-rock groups like TV on the Radio and Future Islands as her main musical inspirations for her latest song. Given how she has collaborated with both groups recently, this is hardly surprising, though perhaps slightly disappointing for those who might have wanted her to never be too old to rock and roll. Her voice, once young enough to sound like she was forever in her early 20's, now sounds a bit more motherly, but in a cool kinda way that only Debbie can truly pull off!

"River" by Leon Bridges": Not an old musician, but definitely an old soul, Leon Bridges has earned rightful comparisons to musicians like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding since his debut back in spring 2015, but in Leon's latest song, "River", he pulls off a feat that neither Sam nor Otis did. The song is a rare but sublime hybrid of folk music and soul music that is usually only able to be pulled off successfully by people like Tracy Chapman. During a lyrical journey that equates romantic love with spiritual love, a la Al Green, Leon passionately pleads the words "Take me to your river. I wanna know." What he wants to "know" is love, and it appears to be both that of a woman and that of God. Whichever one you prefer, though, "River" is a song with a smooth, quiet flow as steady as its title would suggest it has.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New songs for April 12th 2017

here they are:

"Don't Take the Money" by Bleachers: An indie-pop band led by Jack Antonoff from 2010's alt-pop group, fun., Bleachers debuted in spring 2014. They took the new wave influences fun. had and ran with 'em in songs like the bubblegum-y, infectious, "I Wanna Get Better" and the Springsteen-goes-new-wave sounding song, "Rollercoaster". Three springs later, Bleachers have returned with yet another new wave influenced indie-pop tune, "Don't Take the Money". What's interesting about this song isn't the sound so much as the subject matter! It is actually about his relationship with "Girls" actress Lena Dunham. Here's another bit of music pop culture trivia behind the song that might just throw you for a loop. It was written by New Zealand alt-pop songstress, Lorde (best known for "Royals"). Being that Jack and Lena's relationship is a movie star/music star one, I dunno how long it's gonna last, but I guess one can always hope for the best!

"Love" by Lana Del Rey: The title of Lana's latest song might be a positive emotion, but the song itself is more of a bittersweet flavor, as are its lyrics. The four chords the song uses are very common in rock and pop music by now, particularly in songs like Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and U2's "With Or Without You". Not even "With Or Without You" is this melancholy, though. Why is this? One reason is because of Lana's whispery, emotional vocals, which don't ever go from being passionately sweet to passionately loud like Bono's has been known to do. Another might be because fans of hers, such as myself, have come to associate her music with sadness. No song I have known of hers so far has been upbeat, and "Love" is not an exception to the rule.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

New songs for April 5th 2017

here they are:

"In Cold Blood" by alt-J: About a month after their initial single for this year, alt-J once again prove their geekiness in "In Cold Blood", in which the opening lyrics are actually binary code. They use this technique a few times in this song. "In Cold Blood" has a bit more of the quirky but funky alt-pop/rock that alt-J's listeners are used to than the surprisingly folk-y "3WW". It's unclear whether this is a love song, murder ballad, or summer song. It seems to be all three, though I don't exactly know how that's even possible. Leave it to alt-J to both stun and entertain their listeners!

"Shine On Me" by Dan Auerbach: The Traveling Blackberries?! That sounds like what the Black Keys frontman is trying to pull off in his latest song, "Shine On Me", which combines a roots-y twang with a retro rock beat in a similar fashion to a lot of Traveling Wilburys songs. The song also has a similar vibe to songs like "Queen of Hearts" by Dave Edmunds, another rock musician who performed roots rock in a retro 1950's style. I don't exactly know what has made Auerbach want to lose the trademark guitar fuzz he's become known for, but this isn't a bad direction for him to go in. Word of advice, Dan. Stick to bluesy garage rock next time. You're good at it!