With their epic multi-verse structures, Old West imagery, and country-rock inflections, “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest,” and “Song for Orphans” join “Ballad of Jesse James”—a similar 1972 outtake released on the 2016 compilation Chapter and Verse—in providing an intriguing window into an alternate history. The principal focus of Savage Mode II is Metro Boomin’s production. Indeed, with 11 studio albums and dozens of EPs, compilations, and soundtrack contributions, Billy Corgan and company have proved to be expert evocateurs, stitching together their melodic pastiche from a diverse litany of musical, literary, and visual sources. As a teenager, the knob-twirling wunderkind ditched school to revolutionize trap music, providing stellar beats for Atlanta eccentrics-cum-marquee stars Future and Young Thug, refining the excesses and strange outlier sounds of Southern hip-hop into his own tasteful brand. His flows aren’t remarkably diverse, but he always spits with precision, and his speed of delivery on “Many Men” and “Brand New Draco” is impressive. Genres: Pop. Letter to You isn’t exactly classic Springsteen, and it isn’t even the best studio album he’s made in the last decade—though I know most don’t share my affinity for 2012’s Wrecking Ball. I don’t know what co-producer and Janet’s then-boyfriend Jermaine Dupri thought he meant when he said he wanted 20 Y.O.
The grindcore “This Body” brings the fugly with surprising abandon, throwing hissing industrial clatter atop an admirably tuneless dirge (you hardly realize it’s a way-late bid in the chopped n’ screwed sweepstakes until the 16 RPM guest rap drops in). Artist: Bruno Mars Release: Unorthodox Jukebox Release Date: Out Now Bruno Mars’ second album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ is aptly titled with it’s mix-and-match batch of tracks in a range of styles reflecting Bruno’s influences. Despite similarities to Adam Levine and Gavin DeGraw, singers who also use a diluted form of vintage soul as the foundation for their middle-of-the-road pop-rock, Mars is by far the superior vocalist. Another such indulgence comes in the form of a duet on the album’s best track, the bluesy “Silver Springs,” featuring Gail Ann Dorsey in a beautiful back-and-forth with Berninger. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. On the standout “All the Things,” Veirs announces that she’s a poet and, on a chorus that could be her artist’s statement, says, “All the things I cannot hold/I cannot save.” To Veirs, artmaking is a means of preserving memories of loves, people, and moments lost. Over 12 tracks, Kristi is haunted by older versions of herself and captivated by wishful daydreams. On much of the rest of the album, this tonal bifurcation leans too far in one direction or the other. Dorsey, who was previously featured in the National’s triumphant “You Had Your Soul With You,” steps in to interrupt what otherwise would have been the album’s loneliest song, the track’s chanting hook enlightening a straightforward, almost juvenile kind of isolation: “They’ll never understand you anyway in Silver Springs,” Berninger and Dorsey sing in unison. F or all of Bruno Mars’s attempts to brand Unorthodox Jukebox as sonically progressive, there isn’t anything remotely unorthodox about his new album. Whether playing 50-year-old songs or brand new ones, the E Street Band proves that when they’re in their element—as they are on this album—they can elevate the Boss to his best. While she pointedly entertains the pejorative “emo” in the title of the introspective ballad “Emo Song,” she nonetheless refuses to understate the origins of her trust issues: “You call me up, and lie again/Like all the men I used to trust.” Throughout the album, Kristi leans into her emotions, unconcerned about whether or not they might make her seem fragile or melodramatic. 531747-2; CD). The album is an enjoyable, if predictable, outing from an effortlessly reliable songwriter.
Beabadoobee’s debut LP, Fake It Flowers, inhabits nostalgia like a childhood bedroom cluttered with toys, outgrown clothing, and wall posters that serve as relics of innocence and fantasy.
At least, that is, for the duration of side one, where singer-songwriters René & Angela (best known for their steamy funk workout “I’ll Be Good”) serve Janet with three equally perky-cute dance-pop ditties, and one halfway decent ballad.
In the album’s press notes, Veirs claims, “my songs knew I was getting divorced before I did.”. Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article was published on July 21, 2013. It’s only when Springsteen leans on the nostalgia with explicitly backward-facing lyrics that the album gets a bit too self-aware. On “Memaloose Island,” she visits the tomb of Victor Trevitt, where a disembodied voice tells her, “Life is the exception/Don’t you forget it.” The voice, of course, is her own, implicitly acknowledging the negative space around the comfort of marriage or any other source of stability. Two things: get as far away from the "track by track" mentality as possible, and watch your run-on sentences. Album Rating: 3.0cheers thanks man, it's my first review and I was considering only doing a few tracks and then regretted doing them all by the end, but the feed back really helps, It's pretty good for a first review man, glad to be of service, Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. Accordingly, when Veirs makes pivotal emotional realizations, they come from outside herself. Recorded live in the studio, sans overdubs, over just a few days in late 2019, Letter to You has all the familiar hallmarks of the iconic E Street Band’s signature sound: Roy Bittan’s roaming piano, bombastic shout-along choruses, creaky harmonies from Patti Scialfa and Steven Van Zandt, and gut-busting sax solos (Jake Clemons fills in ably for his late uncle, Clarence). Ten years on from her last full-length album, the singer is reckoning with the present by diving headlong into her past with equal parts regret and wonder.
But Unorthodox Jukebox offers a bit more than clinically perfect songcraft – it also reveals Mars's bleak view of the women in his life. Across the album, Kristi negotiates the tumultuous fallout of her mistakes, only to relapse, clinging to harmful vices.
“Get Famous,” which finds Darnielle wishing celebrity on someone who’s more suited to constant attention and exposure (read: someone with less integrity than him), feels overwrought, smothered by obvious production choices like the insertion of crowd cheers after the line “listen to the people applaud,” as well as by its own suffocating irony. Instead, track two, “Another Space and Time,” is a sonic outlier, embellishing bossa nova with glitchy electronics and lyrics about ditching the internet for “peace of mind.” It’s a diversion, a vacation to a California that isn’t on fire (one of the album’s many eerily portentous details—though any album about loneliness and destruction could be said to have predicted the events of 2020). Against a backdrop of hopelessness brought about by personal heartbreak and global disasters, the album is an act of self-preservation. Compared to the incisive and quick-witted nature of typical Mountain Goats lyrics, a line like “It’s not the destination that makes the difference/It’s the freight” feels like a rather lazy observation. This lightness is by design, as she wrote these songs while she was straining to maintain her relationship with Tucker Martine, her collaborator and then-husband.
While not an unqualified triumph, Unorthodox Jukebox is a step forward. The result is a pleasant, if undemanding, album that diverges from the National’s more experimental recent releases, 2017’s Sleep Well Beast and last year’s I Am Easy to Find. Bruno Mars didn't become the whoppingly successful songwriter and producer he is by veering too far off the pop/R&B/hip-hop course, so his second album is the same conventional mish-mash as his 6m-selling debut. 21’s dark, foreboding presence and tone are borne of an early acceptance of death’s omnipresence and randomness; he lays down spiky bars with a sneering swagger but also a pointed humbleness.
The sweeping opening track of 2018’s Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. "Locked Out of Heaven" is an obvious pick, but I also suggest choosing a song that represents the album's worst points, as a means of providing contrast. When Mars goes back to just piano and vocals on “When I Was Your Man,” his melody and lyrics end up sounding as slight as they did before—an embarrassment for an artist who’s staked so much of his image on sturdy, old-fashioned songcraft. The dazzling “Glock in My Lap,” co-produced by Southside and Honorable C.N.O.T.E., boasts a host of moving parts, including squealing violins, the rattle of a tiny cowbell, something resembling a kazoo, and the low rumble of shredded bass.
At several points during the tracklist, the specter of self-harm emerges as a response to guilt, like a self-inflicted retribution.
“I Sing to the Tall Man” neatly complements “Turquoise Walls,” another song about confinement that contains some of the album’s most immediate lyrics: “I could not sleep, thinking you were keeping someone else’s pillow warm.” These moments of candidness are welcome, especially when they’re funny (“Have you considered maybe his phone just died?” she quips on “Turquoise Walls”). At their best, the band foregrounds an interplay between warmth and darkness, as on “Getting Into Knives,” in which the middle-aged Darnielle sings about taking up a new hobby over delicately strummed acoustic guitar and Jon Wurster’s hand-drummed percussion.
There’s a carefree attitude that offsets the album’s ambitions. Film references abound throughout, including more of those cool, cinematic synths on “The Untold Story,” in which Annie’s ethereal but detached vocal evokes that of Lynch muse Julee Cruise, and David Cronenberg’s Crash, which serves as the basis for “American Cars.” The latter details the hazards of a directionless romance, suggesting what it might sound like if Lana Del Rey dropped her indie beat-poet shtick and leaned fully into synth-pop. Barnburning new recordings of a trio of songs that Springsteen wrote in the early 1970s, before the formation of the E Street Band in 1972, provide Letter to You’s most fascinating links to the past.
It also informs her lyrics, which originated as poems she wrote for a “secret poetry group,” a fact that’s most apparent when she commits to describing her natural surroundings—leaves and rivers and trees—in depth.
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