Jump to content
DVDVR Message Board
Sign in to follow this  
Lamp, broken circa 1988

IN 2019 I WILL LISTEN TO YOUR ALBUM OF THE YEAR.

Recommended Posts

Last year, some people said that they didn't notice this was happening again in the same thread and ended up submitting records late.

BEHOLD, A NEW THREAD. NOW I COMMAND YOU TO SUBMIT (to this thread). YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE.

Rules:

  1. First Come First Serve
  2. If you nominate two, I'll listen to zero
  3. No guarantees that my review will be positive.

If you want to talk about a bunch of records, that's cool, but please bold the one you want me to listen to.

For example, I liked a lot of records this year! Like Lightning Bolt's "Sonic Citadel," or Black Milk's "DIVE" EP (which low key might be better than FEVER, and I thought FEVER was amazing). For a while my album of the year was Tyler The Creator's "IGOR" because I was so happy that he was making good on the promise of Flower Boy's strongest moments by making a huge sprawling genre-mess pop record about love and queerness, AND that the album hit #1 in the US in it's first week. Ultimately though, my favorite album of the year was "Guns" by Quelle Chris. The shortest explanation I can give for why is this: it addressed an idea I had for a symphony so well that I threw out the symphony because I didn't think I could express it better than Quelle Chris could.

also i put out a record that i thought was really good but i've talked about that a lot already

Your turn!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll start on this the weekend after Halloween btw, and submissions are open from right now until January 1st.

Come on. I know one of you is going to make me listen to that Tool record. Just do it already.

Edited by Lamp, broken circa 1988

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really wish I could torture you again this year, but I got nothin'.

EDIT: Shit, I forgot I gave you Wytch Hazel last year. I was thinking of 2017.

This year has just been pretty dire for me and new releases. Few new bands with full albums I've liked a lot, a few established favorites like Saint Vitus and Possessed, who came out with a real surprise with their new one though it was way too long. Lots of good 7"s that have not enough songs and are too expensive. The new Teitanblood is coming in the mail but that would REALLY be torture...

Edited by Curt McGirt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"When I Get Home" by Solange

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That reminds me that I really need to listen to the new The Avett Brothers album that came out a few weeks ago before I commit to anything.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since now I know the latest Sleater-Kinney album isn't going to be it, I will throw Jade Bird (self-titled) into the ring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A day late, but, we're here. By the way, for this thread, I'm gonna put a reaction on your post when I've posted your specific review.

I heard Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” for the first time in 2018, and thought it was a fun song and was pretty sure at some point she’d be a star. Unfortunately, the first time I’ve ever mentioned that thought anywhere was right now, so it looks like I’m pulling some “I KNEW LIZZO BEFORE EVERYONE KNEW LIZZO, BUNCHA BANDWAGONERS” type of thing.

I’m conflicted on Lizzo, and not because of any like plagarism thing (fuck the marvin gaye estate for making this litigious hell songwriters are now at risk of, but also fuck robin thicke in general (especially for that record about his ex-wife, holy shit that thing’s gross)). There’s like multiple facets to the conflict here.

  • I have a lot of misgivings with the body positivity movement because while there are people who mean it and are coming from the right place with it, the arrival of body positivity in pop culture has come along with a lot of capitalist recoup and I feel tense about the marketing aspect.
  • I also feel like it’s a thing I don’t get to claim for myself. Before I say anything further on that, let me assure you that I’m super aware of the hell that the pursuit of thinness puts on young women and the literal harm it can cause. I understand that my needs aren’t first in line. I’m still in that same line. I’m a self-conscious fat man who has seen on more than one occasion someone be radically body positive and supportive towards women and then degrading towards fat men.
  • I also am suspicious of body positive art. Again, it’s meant from a lovely, well meaning place, but like… okay, for every style of human suffering and vice and problem, there’s art about that state of being. With the exception of, like, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, the only art I know of that has anything to say about how hard and painful fatness can be is mine. I’m sure there’s others out there. They don’t get elevated in the same way that like records about addiction do.
  • And all of this is kind of moot when it comes to Lizzo, because the “BODY POSITIVE ARTIST” thing is a thing that’s forced onto her. She’s not out here being a deliberate radical activist. She writes catchy love songs, but because she’s larger than what society dictates is an acceptable person to make songs like that it becomes a radical act.

All of that is to say I’ve heard Juice and Truth Hurts and never checked out the record until now because the conversation around it when it came out was mind-numbing. Here we go! As always, one paragraph per song.

Alright I’ve mentioned this in past reviews, but I love records that start with phrases like this, because it has this feeling of like “I DON’T HAVE TIME, I’VE GOT A LOT TO SAY AND WE NEED TO GET STARTED RIGHT NOW.” Still true. This song’s also neat because last year, one of the records I listened to had a lot of really peculiar 808 usage in the middle of more bluesy tunes, but this song does that a lot more tastefully than that ever did. This is a really strong introduction to the record. Lizzo’s trying to blow out her voice immediately.

This is alright. Lizzo’s personality carries this song, which I imagine is going to get me through a lot of the songs on here when they end up as tonally generic as this. I harp on instrument choice a lot in songwriting and this is like instrument choice for maximum demographic spread. It counts as a purpose, even if it’s not an interesting one to me. Still, the lyrics and Lizzo’s voice make it work.

Juice is a fuckin’ Jam. I don’t know how else to describe it, and you’ve probably heard it by now so you know. Also, I cannot hear about Grey Goose in any context without laughing for reasons not worth explaining.

Hey wait I’m a Gemini 😞 nah uh this is an alright song. The beat doesn’t move me but it’s not wack or anything.

For a ballad it’s alright. I harp on the repetition of ballads a lot, but actually on this record the ballads are the place where the sound deviates from the modern pop format, using doo-wop structure with subwoofers and treated horns. So that’s nice.

OH MAN. See, this is what I mean with the slower tracks having the space to sound different on here. This is an excellent song. I can’t tell if that’s an actual guitar, so let’s go look. … can’t track down the actual credits. Whatever. This song is the best song on here so far. The chords are gorgeous and the rhythm section is trying to punch holes in speaker cones. Only thing is I wish it was longer.

I also love this. I know there’s a Missy Elliot verse coming but it sounds like there should be as well. Just sounds real mean and grimy. Whoever’s actually engineering the sub on this record is doing a killer job, they’ve made it sound warm which is a hard trick.

Three straight good songs. The structure feels like it’s swelling to a point of explosion every time it adds something, from the first verses to Gucci Mane showing up. I bet there’s a version of this song where the outro is just this enormous horn explosion and that’s how her concerts close.

Again, the sub bass on this record is just fantastic. I’m not into the rest of the sound on this song, but again when the song is dipping, Lizzo seems to put on extra personality and pulls it back up into something that fits on this record. I’m envious of that talent to just like fix a song with your own personal style. This tune without Lizzo feels lifeless.

I like the structure of the hook on this one. It’s a return to the subwoofersoul sound from the other ballads, just turned all the way up. The beat switch at the end is also a good touch, but it’s touching on something that I’m struggling with on this record. I know pop music has given people a complex about attention span, but the idea of this song- and Crybaby for that matter- could expand so much further past the pop song limitations. Yet, the songs are hurried and pulled down to earth to avoid wearing out their welcome, and I’d like to see her have more confidence in her own compositions to let a song like this really last.

I usually groan at ending ballads, but there’s a good amount of funk and expansion in this one so instead of sounding like a comedown it sounds like, well, a climax. I don’t like the sudden cut at the end, but I get it; on a record full of huge endings, the most intimate song has the smallest. So, not mad.

= = =

Overall, it’s good. There’s some great songs, and there’s also some stuff that sounds like a test sample for mainstream radio styles. Hopefully she’s made note that the songs of hers that blew up escape that pop radio style and she pushes further down those paths, because when she’s doing that it can be downright amazing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't forget about this, but after last year I'm waiting until late December to make sure nothing sneaks up on me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not 100% decided on it being my AOTY yet, because it's too damned short, but nothing else has properly supplanted it so far despite that, and they say it's an album not an EP, so - Bible Songs 1 by The Austerity Program.

Edited by SturmCRF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't listened to whole lot of albums this year, I'm always a few years behind but so far, I'd have to say PURPLE MOUNTAINS (self-titled) has been the one that really stuck with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hm. I hadn't considered if I should do something special in case of two people naming the same album. I'll think on that and have an answer if I do this next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2019 at 3:37 PM, Brian Fowler said:

That reminds me that I really need to listen to the new The Avett Brothers album that came out a few weeks ago before I commit to anything.

Was maybe their weakest album for me. Goes very political and not in a good way for a band that is fun escapism for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LETS GET BACK TO IT

1. Solange – When I Get Home
2. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You

I mean, okay, “yes I know who solange is” isn’t interesting because of the nature of her family. If you follow music in America you’ve probably at least heard the name and who her sister is. As for past experiences, I liked A Seat At The Table though it has a lot of slow stuff on it, and we’ve talked about the hole in my head for ballad adjacent music in these threads for long enough to be worth meditating on it again. I heard this album once earlier this year and I’d marked a few songs on it for mix material, but this’ll be my first time just sitting with it with no distractions on my good speakers.

I usually do one paragraph per track, but since there’s a lot of interludes and things around 30 seconds, those wont get mentions. It’s not because they’re not important to the tone of the record. It’s strictly about time management and where I think I’ll be spending most of my energy writing. Here we go!

So the intro is an interesting structure, of like a simple phrase floating in space and reiterating itself over and over, developing in the song as a Laurence Weiner piece would develop in the mind of the spectator. There’s an artist named Yves Jarvis who did something similar on his record this year to a really powerful effect. I’d really recommend checking that record out. We’ve also talked about my propensity for records that Just Start and this counts, even if the purpose is slow and dreamlike.

So the first time I listened to this record, this is when I started making notes like “this’ll be good for a mix” because it addresses a thing I wasn’t a huge fan of on A Seat at the Table: The drums didn’t hit as hard as it felt like the songs deserved. That’s extremely not a problem on this record. The use of chopping (or maybe pseudo-chopping?) in the song is absolute dynamite. It makes the hook hit that much harder. Oh right, Tyler’s on this song. Man, speaking of albums I could scream about this year, IGOR. But anyways, this song is great. I love the blurry outro.

This is the first song I put on a mix (to explain: I DJ my friends parties since we have two a year, one in the summer and one in the winter) and it’s because the bass and drums on this song are FILTHY. I’m in this space of my life right now where I’m listening to a lot of funk, 70s prog rock, and fusion. So, considering that, this song hits me just right. This is like one of the top three songs on this record to me. I’m not talking a lot about the lyrics btw because my understanding is they’re very much about Houston and I try not to talk when I don’t know what I’m talking about.

This is the second song from this record I put on a mix. It’s just a gorgeous club love song. It’s REALLY hard to have a song that repeats musical phrases this often and still feel like it’s developing and growing, but they nail it. The other thing I love about this song is that it’s pop instrumentation without having to rely on verse-chorus-bridge like that.  Also top three on here for me.

God, the synths on this record. We go back to the phrase meditation on this song and it works perfectly. It’s also continues playing with the dream-like motif that’s been going through this record that’s made the sound pop so much.

GOD THE SYNTHS. Sorry, I just got lost listening to this one for a second. This song is fantastic and monolithic in the best way. I will say that I am not earth’s biggest Playboy Carti fan, and this song does very little to change that. However, when the beat switches for the outro, his voice does compliment that change.

Ballad time. It’s at least still got that synthesizer on it cranking away so it keeps my attention better than a lot of ballads do. The chords are beautiful as well, making this track sound like some kind of future jazz bar’s weekend singing attraction. Also, credits here say that Sampha’s on this track, and Sampha is kind of the reason I listened to A Seat At The Table in the first place. Sampha is a genius and I will listen to any song he’s attached to at least once. When the beat switches on this it’s jarring in the right way, it gives the song a menace that I love, capitalizing on the bass that’s been dancing around the slow piano all song long.

This song is the first duet I can think of where it just sounds like friends having fun instead of some weird performative “WE’RE GONNA SINGFUCK” thing, even though it definitely turns sexual in the back half of it. It’s a lot of levity after how that ballad ends so savagely.

Another ballad, again with the dancing bass synthesizer. I think it’s fine to return to this sound because it’s so well detailed but the last appearance wasn’t a complete exploration of everything you could do with this sound. Also, I love the line “You’ve got a lot of static / you’ve got it in your bones.”

UGH that transition is so nice. The drums hit hard as fuck. This is another song that feels like it was just fun to make. I used to feel weird about musicians talking money in a flaunting way, but I’ve softened on that over time because it just makes sense to talk about what’s changed in your life, and in some populations that money change is a Whole Lot.

This feels like a longform intermission but the synths are still completely beautiful and it’s a good speed transition from the last track, back into the dreamy sounds and fading sense of time.

That intro is jarring as hell but it works to snap out of the chorale of the Exit Scott interlude. This is another excellent track where the rhythm section gurgles underneath these dreamlike melodies. By the way, I haven’t made a lot of mention of this, but Solange’s voice is fucking amazing and the whole record is written to compliment it so, so well.

So it’s an ending ballad, but, it’s a surrealist one that revisits parts of the introduction to link the whole album together as a single document, while also resolving that hanging chord from the intro. It feels like it makes the whole record let go.

= = =

All of the songwriting on this record is just immaculate. If I was going to explain to someone my position of how you can make pop music without having to rely on radio structure, this is an album I could use as a central example. It’s not a commodity, but you can’t say it doesn’t work beautifully. Content wise, it wasn’t made for me so I cant say that it moved me in that way, but for people that can relate to the songs more than I can I imagine this record’s got healing powers. Either way, completely worth checking out.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went through all the shit I have from 2019 to find something -- anything -- and besides giving you a long, disgusting death metal record, or some proper and boring power metal that might be more appealing, here's an NYC punk band singing in (I believe) Arabic about the shit they've had to put up with. In 7" format. Don't tell me you will only want to listen to it the once. 

https://haramharam.bandcamp.com/album/where-were-you-on-9-11

EDIT: And if you do want a full album you'll get something very long

Edited by Curt McGirt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...