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This record will blow your mind. Seriously. Chvrches’ ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ is one of those amazing debut albums that will severely add major pressure to this fresh import that blew up the indie pop world in 2013. Almost as much as Lorde did, but on a more secret blog level. Our friends over on Picksysticks got me into this electronic trio just by seeing some stunning photos of Lauren at their showcases at SXSW. He has covered them 4 times over the year. I allowed myself one. And Chvrches left me speechless. This was before LP dropped when they had a mini EP & a few singles. Crazy. But the hype was true. Then the record followed and now I’m sponsoring them again.
I listened to this album more during my hikes than at home or in the car. Loved running to “Recover”. When that chorus hits, I just want to sprint. Feel like she’s kind of taunting me. Maybe she wants to run with me? Hmm.
Still not sure what I love about them. I keep going back to admiring Lauren’s perfectly pitched voice with the flowery electronic background beats that are more EDM then indie pop. What an out of this world sound. Whether it is fast, slow, or jumbled. It works. Like our music has finally reached that predicted futuristic dreamed sound. She could just babble & I’d buy it. She kind of does.
2013′s breakout artist, in my book, is Chvrches. SXSW put them on the map & the rest is history. See what I mean below. You’re in for a treat. Truly.
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Aw. Naw. We’re buying you a shot. Patron, if you don’t have a preference. Only the good stuff for you babe, (wink!) This party is going to extend into A.M. where you’ll find Chris Young serenading you with some late night anthems on his 2013 effort. Because I loved his last album, NEON, so much…it made B4M’s 2011 top 5 old fans will remember…went into this album with high hopes. Happy to report they were met. You get sort of the same package of typical country songs: rowdy, beer fueled, and a bit heartbreaking. What makes it difference is Mr. Young’s delivery and the lyrics. Such fantastic lyrics. Sang beautifully in a ruff ‘real man’ sort of way. Not as cold as Aldean nor sweet like a Luke Bryan. Right in the middle. Catchy. Not annoying. How I like it.
Chris Young has tendency to wear his music feelings on his sleeves. When he’s ready to party, he brings the cooler. When he’s sad…he’ll try to make you stay. But the most telling track is “Who I Am With You”. A cut that praises the love of his life.
‘A.M.’ is well rounded. 12 shades of a normal country artist. Always sounds like a good time when I play it. Take a listen for I love this record. Pity 2013 was quite competitive. Didn’t spend much time in the car with it like I did with Neon. On my musical Saturday mornings. Still can’t deny it. That you can’t.
What more is left me to say about this record that I haven’t said already? (Here & Here to all who didn’t read my past words before). Cheers to all who read those imperfect posts. They were quite popular.
The pleasure of experiencing the first six tracks in the studio, alone, was one of the highlights of my year. Big shout out to my friend Ms. Escobar for hooking me on that short adventure. Drove me to go out & shoot more material for the day job company. I thought after leaving the studio that my life needed more musical experiences like that. Felt like my life could be much more than sitting in a pod dealing with BS on a daily basis that drove me to strange stress levels. I’m very thankful for that experience & hearing this record.
I love ‘The Civil Wars’. Own it on vinyl now. That’s something new. Sounds amazing. That it does. Side A is my favorite because it features the best tracks on the record. ”Same Old, Same Old”, “Dust To Dust”, and “Eavesdrop” will leave you crying on a park bench thinking about the one that got away. That it will. Feel your feelings. If side B wasn’t full of remastered tour tracks & Joy Williams solo material maybe it would’ve ranked higher or claimed the top spot that ‘Barton Hallow’ did back in 2011.
Much love to Joy for finalizing and putting the period to their collective journey so far. I will always support Joy & John Paul despite not being together at the moment. I understand. Much like their situation, this album came into my life when I was breaking away from feelings. That was hard. Still regret some of the things I did. But I’ll write more about that shortly (seriously, 2 albums away from that confessional. ugh). It doesn’t get anymore heartbreaking than this. Time to battle with The Civil Wars on their self-titled #1 sophomore effort. It’s a killer.
My feelings for these records rose and fell throughout the year. I didn’t like it, then I loved part 1 when I heard it on vinyl, geeked out as part 2 was announced, hoped, got hyped, then was disappointed once more when iTunes streamed it before it dropped, and now I’m back to stage 2 believing that the complete 21+ track (144:36 min) experience is worth praising. With 2+ hours of catchy, repetitive, soulful fusion tracks to bump…music fans will find something to love. I love a overloaded record. Prefer it to a 9 track minimalist take. Mr. Timberlake issued a buffet of really unique beats, hooks, clicks, random Timbaland shouts, cheesy high school lyrics, and two of R&B’s catchiest mainstream hits (Mirrors & TKO). Jeez. I prefer the Part 1, but when you finish it you’ll be demanding more. That’s where Part II comes in. Gives you a bit more radio friend pop than soul. Nothing can deny that this record is what Justin Timberlake is as an artist. It’s all pure Timberlake. No pandering. Just every side of the man behind the soulful poppy voice we admire so much.
My biggest problem is the arrangement of the songs. ’That Girl’ should be track 1 and such on…seeing how the Tennessee Kids aspect deserved a better set up. They are just dabbled in and makes no sense. There isn’t bad tracks on 20/20. Just needed a little more thought in the organization. But when you’re dealing with the kitchen sink sometimes you gotta keep problems at bay. Otherwise you’ll be knocked out when it comes your away.
There is so much shelf life left on this record that we have yet to feel the true potential of JT, Timbo, Jigga, Drizzy, and the TK. You’ll hear much more from 20/20. So get comfy, let the groove get in, and get ready to take back the night in your suit & tie. This is the jam packed 20/20 Experience by Mr. Justin Timberlake. Try to not hate it. If you do…play it for your girlfriend. She’ll dig.
I will always love ‘Take Care’. So, when I tried compared that record to Drake’s 2013 junior effort — ‘Nothing Was The Same’ – I kept coming short. I liked ‘NWTS’ when I first heard it. The transitions within each track made me like portions of songs, but not the entire ones. Cause of It…took me a few months to actually fall in love with the imperfect record. Loved what I didn’t like the first time I heard. Because Drake did his best to change the game, but what really excels is his raps. This record proves the boy is skilled. They are like razor sharp teeth biting into the weak beats. There isn’t a moment when the raps lacks. Drizzy is quite focus at his subject matter: his enemies, father, city, groupies, etc. No doubts about it.
This record sat in my CD changer since it came out. No matter what record entered my musical thunderdome…NWTS remained in slot 5 this entire time. It gave me a nice break from other rappers, pop icons, jazz fiends, and rock gods. Because the styles & beats are too unique for their own good…helped be a palate cleanser. This isn’t just a rap album: it’s hip hop, r&b, blues, and variety of different of styles that I dare not to name. What really lies at the heart is Drake’s relationship with his father. Seems his still getting out a bit of frustration and slowly accepting his father’s role in his life. Which isn’t what I expected. Made me think about how special my father is.
Not many special guest, but you do get a few verses from 2 Chainz.
Drake’s life, from this point on, won’t be the same because he changed his future by forgiving past sins. This album isn’t about changing the game…but his life. Just hold on cause Drake is going home.
An expected treat to close out the holiday weekend. I have showcased Clare Teal & Grant Windsor’s two day recording session entitled ‘And So It Goes’ a handful of times over the past year. Probably not the record you’d expect to see on most countdowns, yet still undeniable how much I loved discovering and playing this record. Clare’s tender voice speaking alongside Grant’s keying still leaves me mesmerized & spellbound. Their rendition of “Skylark” & “Black Coffee” fills my mornings with sheer greatness. I can listen to this record front to back, non stop. That’s how much I connect with it.
Albums don’t have to go crazy with gimmicks, guest artists, or tricks. Give me a beautiful singer, classic tunes, and deliver it splendidly. That’s all I ask. A piano and a voice. In perfect melody.
‘And So it Goes’ should be listen to while wrapped up with a loved one by a blazing fire accompanied by glasses of wine. This intimate record deserves a intimate setting to entertain. Part of me wants to play this record while walking around a wintery NYC. Wrapped up in clothes, Christmas decorations everywhere I look, etc.
So, be entertained by two musicians who capture Casablanca on track. Play it again, sammy.
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This Christmas I’ll be steppin’! In the name the love with Mama XXXmas. Haha.
With major R&B talent (R. Kelly, Jordin Sparks, Monica, Anthony Hamilton, Ne-Yo, John Legend, etc.) providing some of their favorite & new holiday tunes…we’re kicking off our strictly Holiday Albums of the weeks with one of the best soundtracks of 2013. Have yet to see The Best Man Holiday. Hear great things. I have no doubts that this music fits the movie quite well. In a very 90s way. Just makes me want to see the movie even more.
What you’ll love about this album is how well it is to bump when your decorating your house this week. Or making love to your spouse under the mistletoe. C’mon, New Edition’s “Can You Stand The Rain” is included! My seventh grade self is dancing underneath my skin right now. (hehe, truly!) We’re just getting started. More albums to roll through just in time for the holidays.
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You’re really just battling for number two when your EDM album followed the release of Daft Punk’s ‘RAM’ in a highly competitive year. And our nod to that spot went to the underdog Avicii whose ‘True’ is probably more revolutionary as a whole than Random Access Memories’ core. Avicii jumped out of the genre box, grabbed folk-soul-bluegrass…hell, Americana and infused it with his own unique EDM flavor for the first half of the record. It worked didn’t it? Their Aloe Blacc collabo — “Wake Me Up” — is a bonafide smash. The second half showcases how truly amazing EDM is and can be. Flowing organic beats, pounding drums, rhythmic claps, while heavenly computer sirens ease your worries…repeating to you — “All You Need Is Love”. The final message of the record. Sounds familiar?
My favorite track is “Addicted to You”. A James Bond theme song on crack. Says a lot. ”Wake Me Up” is probably my favorite single track of 2013 because it makes me so hopeful. I have been trying to find myself for so long too. Nevertheless, still got some growing up to do. That I do. Lessons to take into 2014. Plus…I love to travel.
There is a definite voice throughout, whether spoken or unspoken…I can’t help but feel moved by the music. ‘True’ is true to the EDM genre while allowing some branching out. Shows you how this electronic dance infection will spread into every genre of music. Soon we’ll see major country / folk artists doing what Usher / the R&B genre is doing to keep the spark & innovation moving forward. Remember that this was the blueprint to the original formula.
Overall, ‘True’ gets you dancing. So wake me up…and start moving! Happy Friday!
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Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s not the sort of record you wanna listen to after a family dinner.
Nick Cave is a bad seed through all 9 tracks of his short — ‘Push The Sky Away’. A record that feels like your trapped in a cult tent surrounded by passionate followers, naked, shaking their asses, as Nick stands in front of a intimating rage of flames chanting and raving like a lunatic. By the end you realize you’ve come here by choice as the sinister smile appears on your face. It’s the thrill and chill of love. Classic Nick Cave in every sense.
Have kept this record close to my chest. Not sharing my affection for it all year to you dear reader. You have to realize I have so much music on my radar that one man isn’t enough to play it all for you and I don’t like showing all my sides. That I don’t. Like too keep my secret albums close to my chest.
‘Push The Sky Away’ is Mr. Cave’s 17th studio record that has equaled a iconic career spanning my life span. It’s expert. Drawing the listener back into the sea by a mermaid’s call. Think I’d appreciate this album later on in my life. Part of me feels like I’m too young to understand…yet, I do. The fire, the heartbreak, the mystery, the sadness, the love lost, impending death…all in Mr. Cave’s melancholy haunting low register. I hope you listen. You might discover something about yourself in the drumbeat and wailing guitars.
These old habits die hard because I love country music. Justin Moore’s ‘Off The Beaten Path’ had all the twang, fiddle, and attitude I needed in my 2013. Wasn’t really a big fan of Moore’s until I lost myself in this record. He’s always been the bad boy of country music with his deep voice & all the chatter of beer, women, travellin’, heartbreak, and fat asses continues to make his legendary a bit more well rounded. Seriously. Track 7 is all about that behind. Kim K references.
There isn’t anything here that i hadn’t heard before from other country artists. Same talking points. Still delivered in amazing twang fashion. His duet with Miranda Lambert is the one track you should listen to. If not that one, his bonus track with Charlie Daniels is devilish.
Justin is a dirt road kid. And this record takes us all down the road less traveled with him.