Showing posts with label avicii. Show all posts
Showing posts with label avicii. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 22, 2019 (VIDEO)

Alright, this actually came together a fair bit better than I was expecting - go figure. 

Next up... well, the poll says Bastille, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 22, 2019

You know, one of the most frustrating things as a music critic is that sometimes you can find yourself in a bubble of your own biases - you know what you like and dislike, and thus while you're actively seeking the former, if you're stuck covering the charts you might totally forget a project dropped that could impact them. Hence was the case this week, where I did expect the Jonas Brothers would have a little more traction - and they do - and I remembered vaguely that Luke Combs was moving an EP, I completely forgot that Future still has enough chart cache to get his new EP multiple entries. Guess I'm going to wind up covering it after a fashion anyway - joy.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 27, 2019 (VIDEO)

Kind of crappy episode here, to be honest - not a lot to really be said with these, unfortunately. 

Now time to tidy up some old business before I get to the eight (!!!) albums I want to talk about all dropping this Friday, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 27, 2019

I get the funny feeling that a lot of folks are going to forget this week pretty quickly, the sort of Billboard BREAKDOWN probably more notable for what's not happening than what is. No album bomb, no significant chart shakeups that seem like they're going to last - and yes, I know for some either the BTS arrival or Lil Uzi Vert's continued attempts to get something to stick will contradict me, but while I've been wrong predicting what will last, I get the feeling I'm not going to be that wrong with this one.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

video review: 'stories' by avicii

Well this was a surprisingly fun review to put together. Surprisingly easy too, but that can happen.

Next up... hmm, not really sure. Long weekend up ahead, and I want to make sure I make the best of it. So probably Julia Holter and The Dead Weather, but then there's The Game and Frankmusik and I should probably talk about Deafheaven if only to get it out of the way... eh, we'll see. Stay tuned!

album review: 'stories' by avicii

Of all the electronic producers I've covered in the mainstream, both in full-length reviews and on Billboard BREAKDOWN, Avicii is one that continues to frustrate me.

See, those of you who have followed me for a long time know that I wasn't too kind to his debut album TRUE, not a bad record but ultimately an experiment that landed steadily decreasing dividends throughout its runtime in attempting to fuse folk with accessible EDM. And yet many of you probably know that two Avicii songs have landed on my year-end lists for my favourite hit songs of 2013 and 2014 with 'Wake Me Up!' and 'Hey Brother'. And the stranger thing is that I'll stand behind both of those choices even though I'd still argue that TRUE was only ever a decent album.

And here the crux of that argument: Avicii is the sort of artist who has a great grasp on the fundamentals and the broad strokes of his experimentation, but can get stuck on the details, which is why the folk sections of that debut album ended up working better than any of the electronic segments. Sure, he's a strong melodic composer in putting together dynamic, surging progressions and marrying them with well-textured guitars and banjos and solid acoustic grooves... but the second he starts adding in thicker beats or percussion, things kind of go off the rails. Hell, he's not even a bad lyricist - all of which makes me think Avicii might be a better songwriter than producer and performer - but I can't help but see the irony in an electronic producer who blended folk in and made it work, except in the underlying electronic production itself!

But that was 2013, and let's face it, the EDM world has changed significantly in even just the past two years. The leftovers of the folk boom that Avicii was riding is now long dead and most modern EDM has gone to the deep house or R&B/neo-soul route - that'd be your Calvin Harris - or suffered badly for it, like Zedd. Where does Avicii fall with his sophomore release Stories?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

the top ten best hit songs of 2014 (VIDEO)

And here's list #2. Yes, I know it's excruciatingly early, but I'm posting this from the airport, it happens. Enjoy!

the top ten best hit songs of 2014

And now onto our second list, and the one that doesn't give me heart palpitations whenever I think about it, the Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2014. 

Once again, let's go over some of the main rules: the songs need to debut on the year-end Billboard Hot 100 list this year - so while there are songs like 'Counting Stars' and 'Wake Me Up!' that came out last year and still made this year's Billboard 100, they already had their shot to make the list.

What gets a little frustrating because while the year-end Billboard Hot 100 didn't have as many outright terrible songs as last year, I'd also make the argument it didn't have as many genuinely awesome smash songs either. 2014 tended towards average all around, with only a few genuinely great songs and a whole sea of songs that were pretty solid but didn't evoke a huge amount of reaction from me, one way or the other. And once again, this is my list of my favourite hits - the list of the songs from across the entire year that never touched the charts is on its way - but that's not ripping into these songs, most of which had real genuine quality behind them.

But let's not waste time, let's get to the Honourable Mentions!

Friday, September 13, 2013

video review: 'true' by avicii

So here's the final video in the second wave of albums from September. I'm going to spend my weekend catching up on a few other little things that shouldn't take long to review - or at least I hope they don't - before the deluge gets altogether too huge (which starts at around September 17 with a trio of country albums that I'm likely going to have a hard time telling apart - joy).

Stay tuned!

album review: 'true' by avicii

There are certain acts to which I don't feel qualified in reviewing, often for a number of reasons. I don't touch classical music or jazz mostly because I'm largely unfamiliar with the genres and I don't feel remotely qualified to talk about them. Similarly, there are whole swathes of heavy metal that I would like to review, but I just haven't had the chance to become familiar enough with the best and worst of the genre to speak definitively on the subject. Sure, I'm working my ass off to catch up, but until then, I don't think I'm the best reviewer to speak to, say, the new Motorhead or Carcass albums (Motorhead more because I'm not as familiar with their discography as I'd like to be), or that Deafheaven album that came out earlier this year and has received a ton of critical acclaim. And of course there are genres like metalcore and electrocore of which I've listened to a fair bit and thus cannot be remotely objective when talking about these acts (it's a hatred thing).

And for a long time, one of those genres I hesitated to talk about was EDM, partially because I felt I wasn't familiar enough with the genre, partially because I didn't particularly like most of what I had heard, and partially because, as a critic, I tend to spend a fair amount of time analyzing lyrics - I'm a published author, that's one of my big strengths. And since most trance and house and EDM don't have lyrics, I find myself guessing more than I'd like when I review those albums, because the review is less based on solid content and more based upon mood and emotion. And thus, there'd be a limit to how much analysis I'd be able to provide when reviewing the act.

But as of recently, there's been something of a shift, mostly due to EDM-inspired music moving more towards the mainstream, with the success of acts like Zedd and Swedish House Mafia and David Guetta and Calvin Harris. What I find as a significant relief is that a lot of this music has vocals and lyrics - often not very well written lyrics, but they are there in order to better court the mainstream. 

And thus, when I heard about Swedish DJ Avicii's debut album not only containing vocals and lyrics, but also an exploration of folk and country, I was seriously psyched. Not only would I have some lyrics to examine, I'm also significantly more familiar with folk and especially country music. For once, I felt that there was an EDM album that fit within my area of expertise, and I was really looking forward to reviewing Avicii's TRUE. So, what did I find?