Showing posts with label courtney marie andrews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label courtney marie andrews. Show all posts

Sunday, January 6, 2019

the top 25 best albums of 2018 (VIDEO)

And that's the last of year-end list promotion...whew.

Next up... honestly, no idea, we'll see - stay tuned!

the top 25 best albums of 2018

Normally this is the list that feels like the greatest relief to make - it's the final moment where we can lay a year to rest chronicling the best of the best, the sort of release that comes with it being the last list but also one that feels the most professional, for lack of better words. I'm having fun with the lists of the best and worst hits, I'm getting more personal with the overall songs list - this list for critics is staking claim, drawing our lines in the sand, and as such, it's normally the most professionally rewarding.

But I have to say, in comparison to previous years, this list was not that hard to make. Even though I covered far more albums in 2018 than ever before, it felt like I hit greatness less often on average. Which is probably not completely true, but it sure as hell feels like it, especially given that the cuts weren't that painful this year, or it certainly seemed like there was less of them to make. And while I don't do an Honourable Mentions segment for this list, I will say I'm a little regretful that I have to leave Rolo Tomassi and Against All Logic off this list, and I'm sure I'm going to surprise some folks by saying that Beach House and Kacey Musgraves also missed the cut - sorry, but especially in country, Kacey had stiffer competition. But really, if we're to highlight a genre that turned out in spades in 2018, it was hip-hop - and no jokes here, this is more hip-hop on this albums list than I think there has ever been before... which yes, means that there were two painful cuts in the form of Marlowe and Armand Hammer. But you know, let's start off with hip-hop here...

Saturday, June 30, 2018

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2018

There are years where I struggle with this midyear list, sometimes in years overloaded with quality that force me to make some painful cuts, or years that are a little more scant I'm stuck with what seems like a smaller list... and still have to make painful cuts. 

And thus it feels odd that building this 2018 midyear list is perhaps one of the easiest I've ever assembled, and since I'm not about to assume I'm getting good at this, I'm genuinely curious why that might be. I will say that outside of hip-hop, other genres don't seem to be having an exceptionally strong year - great albums in rock and country and metal but few that really went over the top in terms of quality, and I'd argue pop has had it even worse. But more than that, even the records that just missed the cut - Beach House, Iceage, Parquet Courts, Against All Logic, and especially Phonte - while they were truly terrific releases, I'm not precisely torn up that they had to miss the cut, as they all have a considerable shot for the year-end as my tastes evolve and change. 

So given that this is my fifth list like this, you know the rules: the albums and songs have to have been reviewed in 2018, and while I'm fairly certain you'll all know what's going to top this list, I'll add that there are songs from The Trailing Edge that have a chance to wind up in the individual songs, because there really were some incredible cuts there. So let's not waste any time and start with...

Friday, March 30, 2018

video review: 'may your kindness remain' by courtney marie andrews

Yeah, it took a little longer than I was expecting to put this together, but I really wanted to be sure... and now I am, easily one of the best of 2018, hands down.

Next up... well, I have Resonators, the Trailing Edge and this A.A.L. record, plus whatever's coming up on the schedule plus this Patreon update - lots going on, so stay tuned!

album review: 'may your kindness remain' by courtney marie andrews

I got to reviewing Courtney Marie Andrews way too late in 2016 - and honestly, for as critical as I was of it, I may have been a little too hard on it as a whole. Part of this is that she was facing some really stiff competition in 2016 that made for apt comparisons - the list of women in country who dropped literate, intensely emotive records that year is considerable and she had an uphill battle. But the truth was that some of my criticisms of her last record Honest Life did feel a tad forced, as it was certainly a record intended to grow through the understated details and subtext, rely more on gorgeous vocal delivery and production to carry the deeper message - and I'll admit that in my headlong rush towards the end of the year, I probably didn't take it in as deeply as I'd prefer - and yet even with that her absolutely stunning track 'Only In My Mind' notched a well-deserved spot among my best songs of 2016, a late entry that was very well-deserved.

Well, there are no such excuses for me this time around, and given how much critical acclaim this follow-up is receiving for fleshing out more of the lyrical details against arrangements I know are bound to sound terrific, I was really looking forward to giving this my full attention before both Linda Ortega and Kacey Musgraves sweep in to grab the spotlight in a few days. So what did I find on May Your Kindness Remain?

Monday, December 12, 2016

video review: 'honest life' by courtney marie andrews

...honestly, for as much time as I gave this record, I wish it was better, but eh, it happens.

Next up, though... man, I've been waiting to talk about this for a minute, really looking forward to this. Stay tuned!

album review: 'honest life' by courtney marie andrews

So this has been entirely too long in coming... and yet it's almost fitting that we'd round out the end of the year with a record I had every expectation would be great. Hell, in a year full of strong country, especially in the indie scene, especially leaning towards folk, and especially coming from incredibly sharp female singer-songwriters, it's almost karmic that we circle back to a record like this for the end of the year.

And I had every expectation that this album would be great. In my research I couldn't find copies of Courtney Marie Andrews' entire discography, but what I did find was heartfelt, organic, melodic, and with a plainspoken power that was hard to deny... and yet the most some would every recognize her for was background work she did with Ryan Adams and Jimmy Eat World of all people. Of course, her voice is distinctive enough that she'd be recognizable even there - a lilting, slightly deeper and huskier voice that reminded me a little of Joni Mitchell or maybe Joanna Newsom early on before her tones got richer with age. And with this being her first record since 2013 and with the considerable amount of critical acclaim it has received, I had every expectation and hope that this album would be excellent at the very least - so was I right?