Showing posts with label david bowie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label david bowie. Show all posts

Sunday, July 3, 2016

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2016 (VIDEO)

Well, this video was a ton of fun to make. Took me less time than I expected too, but it's always one of my favourites every year.

Next up... look, I've never had any interest in Blink-182, so I kind of want to cover the Weval record or Blood Orange... but we are coming up to my third year anniversary, and you all should remember what that means, so stay tuned!

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2016

There will be a lot of headlines that suggest that 2016 has not been a good year for music - and if you follow the mainstream between the losses of several legends and a haphazard set of releases that slide between underwhelming and disappointing, that's easy to believe.

Of course, that view is not really reflective of reality, because if you look away from the Billboard Hot 100 - which I would advise, it's been a rough six months there - there is quality here. I think the big issue comes in that there have been fewer than normal outright smashes and instant classics as there were at the midyear of 2015, which was really frontloaded with incredible records. 2016 has been more scattershot, with a lot of great records that don't quite rise to the level of immediate classics, and also a fair bit more diverse. Country and folk, for one, have been a great year across subgenres, underground hip-hop has been pretty solid, and there's some great R&B, metal, and rock music that I've liked a fair bit. And that's before you get the genre-bending stuff that sticks the landing incredibly well, and I'd argue we've seen a lot of that thus far.

What this means is that it's been excruciating trying to narrow this down to my usual top twelve, in that the top half was very straightforward but the bottom half is a lot harder to cut. So while I almost chose to open things up to a top fifteen albums of the mid year, I figured I might as well stick with tradition and keep it at twelve, which meant some painful cuts - some of which I think will surprise you. So without further ado, let's start with...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 30, 2016 (VIDEO)

Well, this was a fun week. Always nice to find a world hit I like, too, I've been struggling for that the past while. In any case, hope to have that Randy Rogers Band video up some time later today, and then Brothers Osborne, Savages, and Ty Segall - stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 30, 2016

So yeah, Billboard BREAKDOWN is late again, and while it might have been late regardless thanks to a blown lightbulb that I couldn't replace last night at the right wattage and luminescence, in this case the charts were delayed because of Martin Luther King Day, which is a holiday in the United States. And that's fine, the holiday is very relevant, but the fact that this happened and will continue to happen throughout the upcoming months - the delays of charts because Billboard shifted their timelines last year - is just another example of how Billboard doesn't think before they make changes. Remember when they added YouTube streams in the middle of the Harlem Shake, or the absolute disaster that were the charts in the late 90s? In comparison with that this is a minor inconvenience, mostly for folks like myself, but it's still exasperating.

Monday, January 11, 2016

video review: 'blackstar' by david bowie

And there goes one of the hardest reviews I ever had to film. Had to cut the very ending because it got a tad too emotional, but I think it turned out okay.

Next up, let's talk Anderson .Paak and Savages, so stay tuned!

album review: 'blackstar' by david bowie

David Bowie.

That should be all I need to say for this introduction, but the reality is that Bowie has... was always been more complicated than the legendary image and stunning run of classic albums have indicated. One of the most fascinating creative geniuses to have ever worked in music - especially during his run in the 70s - when you have an artist that influential, that powerful, that genre-defying, it's hard to say any more beyond 'the music speaks for itself'... especially now.

But to be completely honest with you all, putting aside my knowledge of some of his best songs, I had never gone through Bowie's discography front to back before doing this review - certain albums, sure, but never from beginning to end. So before I sat down to listen to Blackstar, I went through every single David Bowie album, from the uneven self-titled curiosity in 1967 to his classic albums in the early 70s to the mid-to-late 70s stream of genre bending to his stabs in the mainstream throughout the 80s to mixed results... and it would only get worse from there. Yeah, the 90s and his brief period of activity in the beginning of the 2000s was not kind of Bowie - mostly good, but far from the heights he achieved with Station to Station, the Berlin Trilogy, Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, and my personal favourite Bowie record The Man Who Sold The World. Most of that is because I tend to prefer Bowie when he gets rougher and darker, and while I can definitely appreciate more pop-flavoured records like Let's Dance, I prefer the heavier stuff - one of the reasons I have more time for his hard rock side project Tin Machine than most do. As for his 90s work... look, where in the past he was the one who charted a unique path, his work in this decade almost seemed to cannibalize the electronic and industrial music of the time in order to wring out fresh inspiration, with hit-and-miss results. And while albums like Heathen and Reality showed him regain some creative form, I was satisfied with David Bowie gracefully stepping out of the spotlight, a varied career but with heights that by far overshadowed the lows...

So fast forward to 2013, and out of nowhere David Bowie released The Next Day, his first album of material in a decade - and not only did it feel creatively revitalized, it was Bowie taking his textbook self-awareness and focusing on his legacy, half out of the sheer provocation of rebirth and half to break free of the ossifying weight of his classics. Never had the spectre of death and endings hung quite so heavily over The Thin White Duke - not without reason, as we'd come to know - and yet he was going to go out swinging. It's not hyperbole to say that The Next Day was the best record he had made since the 80s, a shot of buzzing, excellently written momentum that managed to recapture the best of the ragged danger that had ran through his best work. And thus when I heard he was going to be following it with an album this year, this time tapping into more experimental jazz on what was heralded as one of his most experimental records to date... well, look, it's not like jazz is entirely unfamiliar territory, look at the title track from Aladdin Sane. In other words, you can bet I was going to review this - so what did Blackstar deliver?