Following the 2012 takeover of Northern Mali by Islamic fundamentalist groups – in which the attempts of implementing sharia resulted in popular music being banned – and the January 2013 French intervention, 2013 ended up being perhaps the finest year for Malian music. Now, with two fine albums released this year, one of which is a fantastic celebration of Malian music as a whole, 2014 is looking to be a great year for it as well.
Punk rock can be a monotonous genre when people are unwilling to grow up. Thankfully, some punk artists recognize the importance of change and use it to release better, more mature (or at least different) albums.
Here are two pop albums. Shakira’s self-titled album, which shows her dominating at ballads, and Kylie Minogue’s “Kiss Me Once,” a mostly dull dance-pop album.
After falling short in October, another attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most Rosie the Riveters gathered in one location was held on Saturday. This time, the record was successfully broken.
It’s an indie-rock day. Tokyo Police Club generally produces a few gems per album, but they aren’t hugely consistent. Still, the gems they write hit harder than you would expect. Foster the People can write decent tunes when they feel like it, but their lyrics too often bring front man Mark Foster’s pretentions front and center.
Singer-songwriter Dan Willson (stage name Withered Hand) and The Hold Steady are similar in quite a few ways. Willson was raised a Jehovah’s Witness while The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn was raised Catholic and in both cases, spirituality and religion are recurring themes in their lyrics. They also write catchy tunes, complete with “oh”s and “la”s, to go along with their masterful lyricism.
As the Buzzcocks once sang, noise annoys. When it’s good, it annoys in a beautifully powerful way, one that you can latch onto regardless of whether you’re sad, angry or joyful.
When it’s bad, noise just annoys. But it still gets an 8.6 from Pitchfork.
These two albums share a common theme: good rappers who have been disappointing me lately.
Debris is curated and installed entirely by students, including Capstone students Adam Pete, Alexandra Dietz, Arezo Korourian, Bonnie Lobbestael, Brett Trombley, Casey Dickerson, Donald Morris, Emma Buck, Eric Fine, Jared Sternberg, Myron Brownie, Rita Hillman and Victoria Behne, all under the guidance of assistant art professor Jason Ferguson.
I’m reviewing two electronic albums this week, though I’m not sure Mø’s album even fits that description. Despite its earworm single “XXX 88,” the rest of her repertoire shows a lot of different directions. Too many, in fact.
At the end of this month, Alpha Xi Delta sorority will be hosting Fuzzie Football, their 13th annual flag football tournament. The event is held in honor of a sorority sister who was killed by a reckless driver.
Neneh Cherry’s new album “Blank Project” contains strong tracks that greatly benefit from their production. Coming off of his success with guest appearances on “Get Lucky” and “Blurred Lines,” Pharrell Williams’ album “G I R L” offers merely decent songs that are made incredibly fun by his own production.
Country musician Justin Moore will be performing at Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center on Saturday, March 15. The show is part of his “Off the Beaten Path” tour, and will also feature Randy Houser and special guest Josh Thompson.
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.
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