January 2018


MUSIC&web31 Jan 2018 03:47 pm

We’re still in January and we’re still looking at a lot of artists and albums I’m not too familiar with if at all, so we’re rolling the dice a little bit and diving into three somewhat unknown entities and who knows what we’ll come up with. This week I didn’t have too much spare time to investigate the immediately new releases – and it was primarily singles, soundtracks, or instrumentals at that – so we’re grabbing some from the previous two weeks and shuffling them in. Looks like we’ve got some bluesy soul, some quirk, and some straight up pop. And we cap it off with a new track from one of my favorite guilty pleasures from last year. Okay, let’s get getting…

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Album 1: Encore, by Anderson East (1/12/2018)

The first I heard of Anderson East was actually on a country station, teasing his single ALL ON MY MIND – which is definitely not country. I didn’t look too much into him, but I listened to the acoustic version of the single when it came out and wasn’t thrilled with it. However, there was enough there originally to warrant a closer look at the album as a whole.

First up is KING FOR A DAY, which actually could be loosely construed as a worthy of a country radio slot. But I get more of a Van Morrison vibe from it. Very bluesy. Nice touches from the horns. Relaxed vocals with plenty of character. THIS TOO SHALL LAST is another slow-ish song, featuring an organ and a nice rhythm. I like the play on words here, kind of dark, but it fits with the blues. Wrapping up our preview is a nice piano-based track, HOUSE IS A BUILDING. I really like the feel of this album – maybe it’s because of the weather, but it just fits so nicely.
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MUSIC&web24 Jan 2018 03:41 pm

Before we get started, there’s something we should probably get out of the way. The old format of NMD had an “appetizer” each week, that is, a single or a song from an album that didn’t necessarily warrant the full three-song treatment due to various factors. Nowadays, we have the “You Gotta Try This” songs culled from social media channels and the “Tune Du Jour” which kind of fills the same void. This week, there’s an album that may not fit either bill, so I’ll submit it as perhaps a pre-show bonus reaction.

Thirty-one years ago, the duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell unleashed upon us all that is They Might Be Giants. This past week, their latest album released and it is not a featured album for a few reasons. Yes, Aaron is a TMBG aficcionado and for that, we aren’t completely ignoring this release. Denee, however, ranks TMBG somewhere between Curious George, The Wiggles, and nocturnal feathered beasts that shall not be named. Be that as it may, we present the aptly titled first track of “I Like Fun”, LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH.

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Now, back to the INTRODUCTION…
Welcome to 2018, a new year and it’s time for some new music. January is typically a slow month for music, since most folks are experiencing shopping exhaustion from the holiday season and all the well-known artists have either spent their last few months promoting a Christmas album or an album they hoped everyone would buy FOR Christmas. However, January can be a good month to discover new or new-to-you artists, too. That said, this week’s selection includes two new-to-me groups, an American Idol alum that has yet to win me over, and a reinvention of sorts in the Tune Du Jour. Let’s dig in and see what’s what.

Album 1: Let the Record Play, by Moon Taxi (1/19/2018)

So, here’s the process of landing on Moon Taxi – which, by the way is a band I’ve never heard of prior to preparing this NMD. Fall Out Boy has a new album out and I expected to include it here. However, it’s explicit (and, upon first listen, unnecessarily so) causing me to figure out how best to include it. As I pondered the best approach, I start previewing Moon Taxi and it occurs to me, that they scratch that Fall Out Boy itch pretty nicely, without the caution tape. Not that they are the same, but… well, let’s just listen, shall we?
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MUSIC&web22 Jan 2018 12:19 pm

Cleanup on aisle three! No, that doesn’t mean these albums are a mess – just that they were missed throughout the course of the year and, since it’s the end of the year, it’s as good a time as any to look back and listen to some albums that somehow fell through the cracks. This of course raises the risk that these albums have become familiar over the course of the year, which negates the initial reactions in the comments, but that’s not the case (at least for these three). This week, we have modern rock, pop, and jazzy hip hop to serve up. Let’s get to it.

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Album 1: Only the Lonely, by Colony House (1/13/17)

If the name Steven Curtis Chapman means anything to you, than pay attention. The founding members of Colony House are both Chapman boys. Will and Caleb, sons of CCM’s SCC have been honing their skills and forging their own musical path for a few years now and those efforts have culminated in their second full album, which released earlier this year – like as early as possible. January, when the record labels roll the dice with unknown quantities and hope that shoppers are so flush with Christmas cash that they don’t care what they are buying as long as it’s new music for the new year! (Sorry, little bit of a rant there).

The group quickly establishes that this is not a Steven Curtis Chapman project. CANNOT DO THIS ALONE actually opens up a lot like what one might expect from for KING AND COUNTRY (the “oohs” are actually near-identical to those from “Oh God, Forgive Us”). There’s an airy modern rock quality to this that feels nice. Odd title to start off an album celebrating loneliness, though, am I right? The next song technically starts with the Bobby McFerrin whistle/snap combination that closes track one. (Side note: HOLY COW, BOBBY MCFERRIN IS 67 YEARS OLD!). I missed the first minute of the song thinking about Bobby McFerrin, but don’t worry (see what I did there?), I can rewind (if I want). [continue reading this post…]