My Mid-Year Music Report
Yes, it's a slightly pretentious headline tonight. I was thinking about what records released this year (and the very end of '04) have jazzed me the most. There are a few out that I think could be a part of my year end top 10. So what are they? In semi-chronological order...
John Legend "Get Lifted" This is a wonderful trad R&B song cycle about relationships. The Kanye West protege is gifted with melodies. The album runs about 4 cuts too long. But the first 8 tracks are super. Highlights are the stark "Ordinary People" and the bouncy "Number One" built on the Staple Singers' "Let's Do It Again."
White Stripes "Get Behind Me Satan" Jack & Meg White outdo themselves on this very scary CD. The songs rock when they need to and haunt when they want. It's a ghost story about lost love (another song cycle, of sorts). My favorite tracks here are the glam stomping "Blue Orchid," the tongue-twisty "My Doorbell," and the celebrity sighting "Take, Take, Take" told from the fan's point of view. This should be a shoo-in for album of the year noms.
Mariah Carey "Emancipation of Mimi" Don't call it a comeback. Call it vengeance is a dish best served with 4 #1 singles. Yup, I'm calling it right now. This album will have a minimum of four number one hits. I'm a sucker for the Neptunes' beats, but "Say Something" featuring Snoop Dogg, is their smoothest since their collabos with JT. Go Mariah, it's yo birthday! Mimi herself is in great form on the whole CD. Fun dance tracks surrounded by the best in contemporary ballads.
All 3 of these come well recommended by yours truly. The Stripes is an acquired taste, but any one into solid pop music can't go wrong with the other two. What else? I really like the singles from fellow Hoya, Amerie's disc, so I'll give that a spin. The new Oasis is their best in about 8 years. Slowly, I'm working to a top 10. My listening usually includes a heavy dose of "catalog" records. Basically, oldies. Currently, I'm playing a lot of Chic, Culture Club and Michael. Had Luther on tonight; Billie Holiday last night.
Listen well and enjoy. Of course, the new Rush Hour Soul disc will be record of the year.
Love, Power, Peace