Media ReviewsOpinions

Spotify Release Radar: August 28, 2020

Me listening to music

I’m going to start keeping things positive and just reviewing the songs I really like. Fourteen this time. Nearly half the list. Not bad. (I bailed on that album art idea almost immediately, btw. Oops.)

William Steffey – Baby Blue

This is another track from Atypical, remasters of songs that WS recorded in the 1990’s. This one actually took me a few listens to get into; it’s not the sound I’m used to from him. It has a Tom Waits feel to it that I wasn’t expecting. If you’re up for a little grit and darkness, give it a listen.

BAHA BANK$, Chance the Rapper – Shake Dat A$$

I’m torn on this one. I generally don’t like songs about brand names and there are a bunch of them here. Not to mention an overall theme of using sex to get money. I can’t stay mad at it though.

Elvis Costello – Phonographic Memory

What is this? It’s not a song; it’s a short story about a dystopian future. And yet, I’ve listened to it all the way through every time it came on.

Tricky, Oh Land – I’m in the Doorway

I got a track off this album last week and I was just disappointed that Tricky wasn’t doing the vocals. Now i’m listening on shuffle so that I can just hear the songs without expectations. This is good chill.

Loma – Ocotillo

This song starts out very simple and chill, and gets downright orchestral at the end. I’m enjoying the ride.

Monster Rally – Slicer

Each time this comes on, it feels like interstitial music for something. There’s some kind of retro sample that makes me think I’m going to look up at my tube TV and see the color test card. But, as the melody repeats, it gets a little bit faster and more intense. And then it fades out. Returning you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Ario Parks – Hurt

“Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely to feel something for once?” This song is addressed to someone very depressed, but acknowledges that it’s not going to do them much right now. I appreciate that.

Anjimile – Baby No More

This is the catchiest breakup song I can recall hearing. I picture the recipient smiling and chair-dancing and then, “Wait, what?”

El Michels Affair , The Shacks – Sha Na Na

Don’t think I didn’t side-eye my computer when I saw the title, but this track couldn’t be further from the parody doo-wop group from the seventies.

Busdriver , Swarvy – the big think

I like this, but man is it rapid fire. And it’s too new for me to look up the lyrics.

Lianne La Havas, Jordan Rakei  – Please Don’t Make Me Cry – Jordan Rakei Remix

This puts me in mind of the Ultrachill/Ibiza/Lounge compilations I listened to a lot in the late 90’s/ early 2000’s (?). That’s not meant to be dismissive. I liked those songs for a reason. The vocals are good, and the production is lively without being a dance beat.

Anthony Johnson , Open Mike Eagle – Nothin’ Like the Radio

This is the third playlist in a row with Open Mike Eagle, and all three have been good. All four, I guess. There were two on Discover Weekly. There’s always clever lyrics (“Why you wanna play me though I’m nothing like the radio?”) and, more importantly for my weak ears, they’re not lost in the music production.

Anderson .Paak, JID , Jay Rock, Noname  – Lockdown (feat. JID, Noname & Jay Rock) – Remix

This is current, and feels like a classic protest song. A reminder, I guess, that we are living through history.

Jamila Woods – SULA (Paperback)

This is nice, low key singer songwriter but with more depth of production. Classic without feeling retro.

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