Showing posts with label anderson east. Show all posts
Showing posts with label anderson east. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

video review: 'encore' by anderson east

And here's the first video of the night... man, I wish I liked this a bit more. It happens, and it's still a damn good project too.

Next up, a movie review - stay tuned!

album review: 'encore' by anderson east

There's a part of me that thinks it's a little ironic that only days after releasing my top ten best hit songs of 1967 I'm now talking about Anderson East in 2018, and if you saw that list and my lengthy discussion surrounding white people cribbing from black music, you might see why.

Granted, the conversation about this brand of R&B and blue-eyed soul is complicated and has been for decades, with some highlighting it as conducive to cooperation while others consider it cultural appropriation, that dread phrase that's bound to make my comment section just a joy to behold. Of course, with blue-eyed soul you could make the argument it's more about cultural exchange and there's a certain code that should be understood by the artist: if you're going to use that sound, understand the history, bring respect, help to elevate those who pioneered the sound as much as you can, and you better not suck. And thankfully Anderson East seems to get this: his breakthrough came in 2015 with the album Delilah, produced by Dave Cobb and even partially recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, which made sense for the hardscrabble blend of Americana and southern soul he was making. Of course, you all might know him better for two things: one, he's currently dating Miranda Lambert and showed up on her 2016 project The Weight Of These Wings, and two, he was also on one of the most fiery tracks on Southern Family, the Dave Cobb-produced compilation that was one of two records I've ever given a perfect 10 on my channel. Suffice to say with his release this year the expectations were high, and considering how good the critical buzz was, they had every reason to be. So, with the hope that we can redeem this album title from Eminem's critically reviled 2004 record, what did we get with Encore?

Friday, March 25, 2016

video review: 'southern family' by dave cobb & various artists

You know, if I don't find another record that matches this, it'll be a compilation record that'll be my album of the year. Weird, but I'm kind of down with that - mostly because it quite literally is that goddamn amazing. Chills everytime, man.

Next up... well, might as well deal with Zayn, so stay tuned!

album review: 'southern family' by dave cobb & various artists

This has easily been my most anticipated record of 2016. And to explain why, we need to go back to 1978 and an independent country release called White Mansions. Written by singer-songwriter Paul Kennerley, it was the rarest sort of release in country music: a narrative-driven concept album containing multiple artists each playing a distinctive part. This was in the height of the outlaw movement, and as such recruited artists like John Dillon, Steve Cash, Jessi Colter, and Waylon Jennings himself, even pulling on Eric Clapton to play guitar on a few tracks. And while the tighter budget definitely shows at a few points, the ambition was unmistakable: this was the story of the Civil War from the South's point-of-view, but pulled zero punches about the roots of the conflict and the deep, lingering scars left on the American psyche, especially in the South. I can say bluntly that the political fallout would make such a record impossible to make today - and I can say without hyperbole that it is a classic country album, and if you're lucky enough to find a copy, I can't recommend it highly enough.

So why is any of this relevant? Well, if you've been watching the resurgence of outlaw country around the edges of Nashville, you shouldn't even be surprised. Over the past two to three years and the increasingly sterile and meat-headed modern country scene, the independent country scene has expanded like never before. Part of this is the rise of the Internet allowing local acts to gain groundswell, but at the epicenter is one incredibly gifted producer whose hands have touched most of the best country records of the past several years: Dave Cobb. Now I've raved about this guy a number of times on my channel - and if you know his production background you'll understand why - but what you probably don't know is his work behind the scenes, becoming the new caretaker of the legendary Studio A in Nashville and establishing his own publishing imprint, which gives him the ability to foster greater talent. Of course, it's also helped matters that he's produced some of the biggest indie country albums of the past few years, from Sturgill Simpson to Jason Isbell, from Lindi Ortega to the Grammy-winning debut album from Chris Stapleton.

And all of this has given him the clout and budget to pursue the sort of passion project country fans don't dare to dream about: a concept record inspired by White Mansions with the sort of line-up that would seem impossible. Let's run through the list: Jason Isbell, Chris and Morgane Stapleton, Jamey Johnson, Brandy Clark, Holly Williams, Brent Cobb, Anderson East, Shooter Jennings, John Paul White formerly of the Civil Wars, Rich Roberson of the Black Crowes, and not to completely exclude the mainstream, Zac Brown and Miranda Lambert. This is an Ayreon project for country music from one of the best producers in the industry, which meant that while this is my most anticipated project of 2016, it was also the one where I had the highest of expectations - could Dave Cobb pull this off?