Showing posts with label ian noe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ian noe. Show all posts

Sunday, June 30, 2019

the top albums/songs of the midyear - 2019

So for one of the first times when I'm making this midyear retrospective, I have to introduce a major caveat: I'm putting together this list before listening to the long-awaited return collaboration between Freddie Gibbs and Madlib. Make no mistake, I want to hear it and it'll probably get a ton of praise from me given how much I loved Pinata, but it's also going to be a project I'll need time to process and I don't want to rush a review before the midyear and risk delays, so if you're wondering why that's not here, that's why.

But it's also important to highlight that even if that album is as amazing as I hope it'll be, it would face some stiff competition this year! I highlighted last year how even despite getting a pretty reasonable spread of albums it was easy to put things in position, and I wanted to say it'd be same here... until I truly took a look at how many truly stunning albums we've gotten in the first half of 2019! Country has delivered in spades, underground hip-hop is firing on all cylinders, I've got solid cuts from rock and punk and metal, and even pop and R&B have given me some choice cuts. As such, this is one of those years I've had to make some painful cut to whittle this list down to twelve albums and twenty-four songs outside those albums, and just like last year, I have to stress just because an album didn't make this midyear list is no guarantee it won't make the year-end, or that positions won't evolve or change. Also - and I feel this important to emphasize - if you're expecting to see some big name critical darlings here... well, suffice to say 2019 has been a year where I'm flying down a very different path than many mainstream critics, so if you're looking for certain albums... go check to see if I've reviewed them, that's all I'm saying.

And given that this is the sixth one of these lists I've assembled, I've got twelve albums, twenty four songs not otherwise on those albums, and let's start with...

Thursday, June 6, 2019

video review: 'between the country' by ian noe

Yeah, thrilled that I took the time to cover this - killer album, easily one of the best of 2019!

Now up next... I think I'm going to spend today catching up on other reviews and that damn top ten list that's not quite finished yet, but we'll see where this goes - stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

album review: 'between the country' by ian noe

So I'm not sure how to broach this the comment in a way that won't be misconstrued, so I'll just say it: I've been struggling with indie country in recent months.

And you wouldn't think that'd be the case - the expectation is that since indie country is free of the Nashville songwriting machine you'd find more variety or flair that's distinctive, but like with other underground genres, you tend to see trends take hold in much of the same way. The vintage rockabilly that might occasionally dabble with soul, the \southern rock and outlaw country bravado, and most frustratingly for me, the stripped-back folk-leaning singer-songwriter material that at its best can produce material like Emily Scott Robinson's stunning Traveling Mercies, but at its worst just becomes tepid, underwhelming, and a frequent reminder that 'unplugged' doesn't automatically translate to 'deep' or 'interesting'. And at some point Dave Cobb will produce something and it's basically a roll of the dice whether you get something striking and memorable or see him tip towards undercooked grooves or a delicate vintage palette that's just become a bit played out. And yes, of course there are exceptions I'll praise - the fact that Alice Wallace brought so much diversity to Into The Blue is one reason that album has held up for me this year - but again, they're exceptions, not the rule.

So when I heard about Kentucky native Ian Noe's debut album Between The Country pick up some critical acclaim with the comparisons to Colter Wall and the Dave Cobb production credit... look, I don't want to sound like a curmudgeon, but I was bracing myself for something good, but that I've heard dozens of times before. But hey, it was either this or listening to Miley Cyrus or Thomas Rhett, so what did I get on Between The Country?