Man, it’s been forever since I laid down a Music Monday post! Must remedy immediately!
Music continues to hold a large space in my life, though it’s been diminished significantly over the past few years. Being away from a large body of students has cut off my access to the latest/newest bits of pop culture. I can skim media feeds but it’s not the same as being hooked into the stream directly. I do miss that.
Is it just me, or is pop radio TERRIBLE this year? I’m hardly in the car anymore, now that I work from home, but I’m counting it a blessing given the bland grey dull tunes that hit me anytime I turn on the radio. A friend of mine described the entire pop ecosystem right now as “f***n mumble rap* and I think she’s got a point. (For the record, she listens to plenty of rap – the good stuff that never makes it to mainstream radio.) The rock stations aren’t much better; I feel like I’ve heard the Standard White People Catalog of 70s Rock, 80s Hits, 90s Grunge and 00s Alt Rock way too many times now.
So I’ve leaned into Apple Music to discover new sounds and review some old ones. Nothing here is particularly “new,” just new to me – and recommended.
For today’s Music Monday: 3 albums and 1 Apple Music playlist that should be in your feed for this week. Listen happy, friends!
Andra Day: Cheers to the Fall
So many things to love about this album. Day’s voice reminds me of the greatest Motown enhanced by everything ’90s R&B has to offer. The tracks move through a soundscape reminiscent of the ’60s, walking through your ears like a woman in a sleek dress in a Bond movie – the Sean Connery series, or the first Daniel Craig one. Take track #2, “Only Love.” I hear crisp martinis and red lipstick in these grooves, and it’s hard to have a bad day when Andra Day is laying down the soundtrack. Get it on Amazon or listen on Apple Music.
London Grammar: Truth is a Beautiful Thing
The lead single off this album, “Rooting for You,” has gotten airplay in various places. It’s lush and mournful, dreamy and beautiful. Play this whole album as background to a dinner outside on your patio under the evening twilight, or sit outside yourself tonight and sip a frosty beverage as the sun goes down. Get it on Amazon or Apple Music
Janelle Monae: Dirty Computer
I’m in love with this album. It’s spicy and saucy and a little….dirty. lol Every track sizzles with slick beats and sultry vocals. If you have time, treat yourself to watching the 45-minute “Emotion Picture” version of the album: a sci-fi story about assimilation vs love. I can’t list a particular favorite track because I’d have to list the entire album. Not an exaggeration. Dirty Computer on Amazon. Or on Apple Music
PLAYLIST: The Rocket 100 (curated by Elton John) – Apple Music
This will cure my pop radio blues! Only Elton John could put together a playlist of music so varied and interesting yet so ….pop. I’m a rock girl most of the time, but sometimes I want the lighter, happy tunes that pop should provide. The summer of 2018 hasn’t dished out many singles that I’ve loved, but I can always turn on Sir Elton’s playlist and instantly improve my day! Skip anything you don’t enjoy — there’s over SIX hours of music here if you listen to the whole thing! In fact, I wish every retail establishment would throw out their tired background music and replace it with this.
Bonus Track: North Carolina hardcore band Hopesfall broke up like a decade ago, but they’re back with a single and now a whole album (via Apple or Amazon)! It’s solid, and I’m glad to see them back! Why do I care? Apparently the music we grow up with sticks with us.