Here’s a two-parter. First up, two indie records. St. Vincent’s new album has gotten almost unanimous praise, with an outstanding 90/100 on Metacritic. After a couple years of agreeing with the consensus, this furthers my hunch that I’m going to very likely be contrary to it this year. And Beck’s “Morning Phase” which, like the 2002 album it’s a companion piece to, has people divided over whether it’s a masterpiece or a failure.
Women’s History Month 2014 got off to a great start at Eastern Michigan University, beginning with two events that were similar in structure, but which differed heavily in perspective. The first event, held on Monday, March 3, was a screening of a portion of the film “Half the Sky,” followed by a panel discussion.
I’ve been excited for Phantogram’s album since I heard their beautiful single, “Nothing But Trouble,” last month. The song, which sounded like an electronic remake of Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains),” made me excited to hear the band’s other work. The album didn’t disappoint.
I didn’t mean to review two albums by EMI Nashville. Maybe they just have a monopoly on country musicians named Eric.
Coming to a conclusion about an album like Against Me!’s “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” is difficult, because it’s hard to separate the music from the context. As Against Me!’s first album after lead-singer Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender, it clearly has a lot of social themes that are incredibly important at this time, but importance of that kind can often result in an album being overrated.
“Bob’s Burgers” is one of the best shows on TV right now, and it’s probably the funniest. The voice acting is superb, with each member of Belcher family – Bob, his wife, Linda, and their three children, Tina, Gene and Louise – having enormously funny and distinctive personalities, and it just keeps getting better with every season.
It can be difficult to find two new releases that can be reviewed alongside each other, especially if there are a handful of albums I want to get to. So really, I took a shortcut here. Toni Braxton and Babyface’s R&B doesn’t have much in common with Katy B’s electropop, and I’m not going to pretend like it does. So let’s just say that I’m reviewing these albums alongside each other because Braxton and Katy B can both be described as divas of sorts. Now, on to the reviews.
A lot of music fans put atmosphere at the same level as songwriting. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but I find this impossible to do.
Founded in 1998, Anticon has become one of the finest independent hip-hop labels, releasing music from Why?, Buck 65 and Serengeti, to name a few. Along with Serengeti’s “C.A.B.” (which I reviewed last week), I’ve been playing two other Anticon releases lately: a 2013 collaboration that I missed, and the first LP from Young Fathers, whose “Tape Two” EP was one of my favorite records of last year.
Around the World in One Night, hosted by Eastern Michigan University’s Diversity Council, was held on Jan. 31 in the Student Center Ballroom. The event revealed how diverse EMU’s campus really is, with food, music and displays which all centered around different cultures.
One of the first music articles I wrote compared the leftist politics on two albums, Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” and Todd Snider’s “Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables.” Now, almost two years later, Springsteen and Snider have both released albums just weeks from each other. How convenient.
After the forgettable year in hip-hop that was 2013, here’s hoping that 2014 is better. Two December hip-hop releases have already convinced me that it will be.
Pixies and Pavement are arguably the two most important bands in the history of American indie-rock. Both had sounds that went back and forth between pretty and brutal, and both had consistent discographies.
The stress brought on by the beginning of a semester can be overwhelming. It’s important to have a way to unwind while adjusting to new classes.
For a huge part of 2013, HAIM’s “The Wire” was my favorite song of the year. Then, in December, I discovered a gem from earlier in the year that took its spot. Unlike last year, where “Call Me Maybe” was my favorite song throughout the entire year, this year surprised me at the last minute. So, here are my top 10 songs of the year.
As far as the consensus goes, 2013’s album of the year seems to be a toss-up between Kanye West’s “Yeezus” and Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City.” A college dropout against a group of Ivy Leaguers.
Releasing an album in December nowadays almost guarantees an artist from being excluded from year-end lists, since the majority of publications publish their lists at the beginning of the month.
This year was especially hectic, with several notable albums coming out during the final month of the year, hopefully making publications question the logic of revealing their lists so early.
In a better world, EPs would rule. Full-length albums are great, sure, but our obsession with LPs has resulted in the more quantitative records becoming the more qualitative. It’s so bizarre that EPs are so often used for extra material considered too subpar for full-lengths, which LPs are so often full to the brim with good songs.
On Dec. 7, at the Eastern Michigan University Planetarium in room 402 of the Mark Jefferson Science Complex, “Season of Light” was presented in celebration of the holiday season. Produced by Loch Ness Productions, the presentation focused on the history of holiday traditions, specifically the focuses on lights.
Over the last couple days, three of my most anticipated albums of the year were released. Here are my thoughts on them.
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