"Still, I have never thought of music as a challenge — you always figure, the audience is at least as smart as you are. You do this because you like it, you think what you’re making is beautiful. And if you think it’s beautiful, maybe they’ll think it’s beautiful."
listened to some John Legend albums that were buried on my ipod during my commute last night. he’s got a great voice, and extremely listenable songs. the lyrics are forgettable, but forgivable (aside: i hope some of the perspectives in his songs are fictional, otherwise this guy is falling in love, fighting and breaking up, and reconciling every two tracks).
but this song immediately grabbed my ear, and i kept getting bored with other tracks and going back to it, listening loud, allowing myself to surreptitiously sway with the music as the train jostled along.
in my head, i wrote a super-insightful bit about how this beat sounded like something Kanye would rap over.
turns out Kanye wrote this song.
so just enjoy, i guess. on repeat, with the volume up.
So, both Willis Earl Beal and The Weeknd’s upcoming albums are available for stream at NPR, right now.
We’ve had a lot of teasers coming from The Weeknd’s Kiss Land, and even some controversy over an unlicensed use of Portishead’s “Machine Gun” sample, but it’s a really good album. I don’t know if it overshadows what “The Morning” and “Glass Tables” did for me on Trilogy, but it’s difficult to overshadow those.
Willis Earl Beal, on the other hand, is just doing his thing and sounding amazing. His first release, Acousmatic Sorcery, was one of my favorite albums of last year. It’s so raw, it’s so free .. and the fucking cartoons and stories that came with the album are amazing and beautifully written or drawn. It was all done in his grandma’s bathroom. This album, Nobody Knows, is much more polished and refined in production, but I think it also polished up Beal’s voice a great bit; he sounds incredible on the opening a cappella. I can’t say enough good things about this cat.
For something a bit more poppy, the Tourist remix of Haim’s “The Wire” is a nice minimalist, dance-y jaunt. Listen hurrr:
So, I was going to post this up last night when it was put out there, but I wanted to give it some time. (Un)Fortunately, waking up this morning, I saw the waves this song — specifically Kendrick’s verse — had been making. Big Sean is nothing but a big yawn (as always), and while Jay Electronica does his thing, Kendrick Lamar is the true talent of this song AND possibly puts forth the most talked about verse of the year. He calls out everybody, calls himself the King of New York, and straight up disses the other two people on the track with them. Basically, Kendrick takes this song out for a nice seafood dinner, and then never calls again. It’s just harsh, and throws all courtesy out the window. - alan