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Watch me don my almost-Coachella outfit and celebrate 2 records with unfairly-overshadowed frontmen Morris : Prince :: Buddy : Jimi Hendrix , which is mostly a tribute to the ways that the 2 records are connected, which is pretty much a front for Watch me show off the endless snippets of nerdery I have in my head. Sorry, guys.
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Thanks for tolerating my annoying, adorable ass. Morris was on the show to promote his solo record, Daydreaming , but who cared? Nobody cared. Morris worked with Prince! Do you think he can introduce me to Prince?? Hey, do you guys like my Prince shirt? Soul Train I mean, neither Mouth nor I have a Morris Day shirt, youfeelme:. Same thing for Buddy. Day in the most recent issue of WaxPo. I can respect the practice of naming-in-musical-tribute, but it still seems it like would do a number on your manhood.
Did George feel hollow inside his whole life? Buddy Miles was from Nebraska but spent much of his music career in Chicago. The Time are Minnesotans. Delicate, thin-skinned California female that I am, catch me NOT being in any of these locations during the winter, thank you.
Neither was fucking with my heart Anthony Hamilton -style. But they both made up for lack of vocal power and range with the charm and good hair required of all frontmen. This damn category gave me a gang of trouble at first. Like 2 months later! Linking the two albums takes the nerdiest of brain circuitries and a lot of free time, both of which I have, lucky for WaxPo:.
But I also have a thousand new mp3s in my crib, courtesy of Kevin, my generous year-old cousin with great taste in music; I rely on him to keep my DatPiff game strong, since I do not have time to go through heaps of new daily rap offerings, daily rap news. Shit is, as they say, exhausting. Thanks for the help, Kev! I could be the great-grandma of Chief Keef, whom I believe is just now starting on solid foods.
RZA is doing things like this now. Nickatina will never stop, not ever. Rap game hilarious. But a funner way to link back to The Time is to reference that Kanye song about lesbians and French robots in which he mentions the length of time that he has been fond of a lady since Prince was on Apollonia — 2 persons who starred in a movie with Morris Day. Email me for directions to my apartment. There are quite a few tracks where Morris and her collaborators are embracing a more country-based singer-songwriter storytelling style of lyrics as well that feels somewhat inauthentic.
Juice WRLD, and the movement that he takes up de facto leadership of in the wake of some unfortunate losses, is undoubtedly one of the most interesting musical phenomena going on right now. His brand of melodic emo-trap, taking the energy and spirit of mids pop punk and funneling it into a modern hip-hop context, is a combination that I never could have anticipated having such a profound impact on so many listeners. We get this somber piano loop and a rather subdued section of hi-hats as Juice drops this catchy but overwhelmingly dark chorus on top, nailing that emo inflection in the process and just making me marvel at how well this collision of genres works.
These young artists who drop lyrics like Juice does have found a unique way to connect with people and open up about depression in an eye-opening and vivid way. Quite a few of these songs open and seem a little disjointed and messy, but then something about the melody Juice sings, or his cadence, or just how earnest about it he is, clicks together and sticks in your brain. With a largely improvisational and overlong hip-hop album, there was bound to be quite a lot that falls completely flat.
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There are a lot of videos where Juice makes it clear just how impressive of a freestyler he is, but on these looser tracks his melodies go out the window, killing his biggest strength of all. He essentially becomes a below-average Auto-Tuned mumble rapper with a couple awkward moments trying to shoehorn too many words into a bar. I just completed my first year at journalism school and will be writing music reviews in major publications this summer!
Here are my thoughts on some February albums:. Ariana Grande — thank u, next. Ariana Grande is the pop star of the moment for a reason — she switched up her release schedule for a world reliant on streaming, dropping two stellar albums in the span of 6 months, and succeeded in turning the worst year of her life into so much success by shattering the fourth wall, being so human, vulnerable and incredibly specific about it and using her music as therapy for both her and her audience.
Grande has flawlessly taken control of her narrative and become a pop star for the social media age — and oh yeah, the music is pretty great too. Most importantly, this is Grande at her most authentic, and you can tell. Nobody came with a more Earth-shattering hit than the veteran Luis Fonsi, who finally has a full album to back it up after becoming a household name. While a couple of the most generic tracks open the project, there are also a couple gems to be discovered later.
His higher range is what really sells the song though, showing off some impressively belted harmonies mixed perfectly into the back for a solid foundation. The chorus was strong enough already, but dropping back everything but the percussion for the finale puts the track over the edge.
VIDA is more dynamic than I expected it to be after the runaway success of a single song, as Fonsi partially succeeds in delivering something more than 11 more Despacitos. Music in can be mostly defined by the continued rise in prominence of hip-hop, taking over from rock as the most listened to genre for the first time. As both a rather limitless, rule-free form creatively and a way to express protest, almost every genre drew elements from hip-hop this year.
We also got a huge number of high-profile releases as the album form slowly evaporates and artists become more prolific. A Spotify playlist of this list is linked at the bottom of the article! Hozier recruits one of the greatest to pay tribute to artists who recorded impactful protest songs throughout history, backed up by some soulful choral vocals. Superproducer Greg Kurstin strikes again with an exciting rising star, as Rogers blends her near-gospel sensibilities with a more traditionally structured pop track. On the closing track of.
The rap collective opens their first major label studio album with a bang. The off-the-wall group trade some equally bombastic verses over a supercharged instrumental. The choral ending of this track is truly transcendent. Western pop music watch out — the K-pop invasion is coming over quickly. The wildly popular boy band applies some aspects of 90s West Coast hip-hop to this track.
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This is White at his most theatrical, embodying some sort of deranged preacher. The centrepiece of the spectacular Kids See Ghosts album, Kanye West and Kid Cudi lean on each other for support as they discuss their respective mental health issues. On an album where J. Cole talks about the dangers of giving yourself over to various addictions, love proves the strongest drug of all as Cole embodies a character struggling with fidelity — with a fun videogame-esque beat and some serious technical skill to back it up. The ex-Fifth Harmony member sounds like a young Alicia Keys over a minimal beat that places the spotlight on her impressive and emotional vocal showcase.
An all-out bubblegum pop extravaganza. I was sent to another dimension the first time I heard the drop on this track. Those deafening, steadily growing synths and well-placed silences makes it feel like someone is repeatedly firing up some kind of generator. Musgraves blends the slightest of country aspects in the instrumental with an 80s dance beat and some sharp harmonies. The Swedish pop savant has always found the perfect way to encapsulate the feeling of crying on the dance floor, partying the pain away, and this track is no exception.
Something about that staccato phrasing in the hook makes the track irresistably catchy. Two of the most charismatic artists in the industry link up for this paranoid and humorous funk track where. Paak just wants some privacy. A call for a final party before the bomb drops, this might be the most overtly political track on an already defiant and revolutionary album. The cops shot the kid the cops shot the kid the cops shot the cops shot the kid the cops shot the kid the cops shot the cops shot the kid the cops shot the kid the cops shot the cops shot the kid the cops shot the kid the cops shot the cops shot the kid the cops shot the kid the cops shot the cops shot the kid the cops shot the kid the cops shot-.
The most lovable guy in the music industry is back to steal your girl — the one with the incredible hugs — and criticize you for letting her get away. This song hit me right in the feels from the first time I heard it, a sparse piano ballad where Cabello offers some deeply personal lyrics about the end of a relationship where her trust was broken beyond repair. The orchestral version released as a single just brought the tears back in full force. Heavy bass rattles as the horrorcore rapper goes to work with his dexterous flow. Charlie Heat is one of the best rap producers in the game.
Another track with an unreasonable amount of plays on my personal Spotify this year, Ariana Grande tones down her usually powerhouse vocals to match the subtle yet powerful approach of Australian pop artist Troye Sivan. A perfect slow dance song straight out of the 80s, that synth hook that introduces the song makes it a grower.
A downtempo track that verges on dreampop, the twinkling keys and string section highlight her smooth and sensual vocal inflections. Ariana Grande has been having a horrible year — and this was the most brilliant way possible to address it in song form. The fact that this disjointed, endlessly creative track became a 1 hit single is nothing short of amazing. Music signee Shake arrives on the outro of the track with her repeated and earnest mantra about freedom, breaking free from the pack.
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I can only imagine the experience singing it live with a crowd. A bittersweet track, Musgraves sings to someone who is incapable of seeing all the love they have around them. Her dedication to taking the sound of early s pop and modernizing it in a huge way is so engaging, those chords so familiar but twisted in such a new way as well.
Every instrumental aspect of this track is a maddeningly catchy hook in and of itself. Where does Kanye find these samples? Monae sounds effortlessly cool on the track, delivering some impressive vocal runs and even a rap verse addressing a school bully, and the repeated backup vocal line is just the perfect set of soulful chords that keeps me returning. Keep doing what you do best, Janelle.
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Sivan vividly describes a specific instance of a failure to respond to a postcard as the first instance of doubting the longterm success of a relationship. Those tiny breaks in his voice at the bottom of his range mean so much to the overall delivery, and the harmonies on the chorus when both singers finally come together are one of the most beautiful moments on the whole project. The track took a long time to grow on me, but it really sneaks up on you as one of the catchiest tracks of the year.
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The bassline is very percussive, and brings that factor of danceability they speak of to what would otherwise exist as a pretty calm and understated track. The driving percussion on the track mirrors the kind of building anticipation that Sivan speaks of. Bloom is one of those rare albums for me this year where I can find something to like about every track here, making the selection of a least favourite very difficult. Sivan has a very engaging mic presence, seemingly without even trying too hard to have one, and his lyrics are some of the most compelling of the year while bringing back a great retro sound with an excellent degree of cohesion.
Her quick, confident delivery in the verses slowly builds up to some of the most impressive vocal moments of her career in its final minute, unexpectedly layering her vocals into a full choir to repeatedly proclaim the title as she riffs into the stratosphere in the forefront. The beat switches infuse the track with energy, and Grande sounds perfectly at home anyway as she celebrates her successes with a wink on the hook. Another intoxicating slow build, the first prechorus is electric as she makes some impressive vocal jumps and we wait for the track to explode.
The beat drops heavy, the track cutting out at just the right moments, and we even get a roaring guitar solo overtop of it all. The combination of the two hooks at the end completely sells it. It fits in with the overall maturation displayed across the whole project. Still an amazing opening single. Of course, anyone going into a Grande album not looking primarily for her famously impressive vocals is looking in the wrong place, and there are a few times on this project where it does disappoint slightly as a specifically Grande track due to the more experimental work on the project.
The emphatic declarations of love and personal gain feel genuine, and her forays back into the genre that inspired her from the beginning are a natural step forward. Grande is still one of the most consistently impressive megastars. Rap superstar Nicki Minaj continues to adapt and thrive, dropping her most rap-heavy album yet, Queen.