Is it just me or is there a disturbing new trend in the music ionosphere? Lately, I have gone through the following steps of music discovery.
- Hear a hot new track that I really like.
- Play it 6 to 7 million times
- Get the album the song is on
- Categorically hate the album.
Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a great one hit wonder as much as the next guy. 80s night at La Tulipe would be pretty weak without a gem like “Take on Me” by Aha swaying the masses. But I also am a big believer of judging an artist by the body of his/her/its work. I would also feel differently if the albums of these artists were merely average. However, the truth is, in most cases these albums are as bad as a 15th century Cave Troll.
I wonder if these artists are writing a great song and then feel as though they need to make a whole album of filler to satisfy the industry norms. Why not just release the single and call it a day? The reality is that in this hifi wifi world, the album does not have the impact it did when Exile On Main Street was released. These artists should embrace that and live by the old adage, “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”.
I am getting a bit ornery, let’s focus on the good songs:
I first heard of Little Dragon as a cameo on the already reviewed Gorillaz track “Empire Ants”. I loved the sound of Yukimi Nagano’s voice and I thought the band name was badass mainly because dragons breathe fire and that is badass. Then I found out that Yukimi was half Swedish half Japanese and I think that combo is the only hope for the future of mankind. I heard the song Ritual Union from the new album and was pumped. It makes me feel like I am going to some dimly lit lounge in London to purchase 5 million dollars worth of African Blood diamonds. I am obviously wearing a suit in this scenario. Wearing a suit is my new “thing”.
The second song is by a guy names Gotye and it features a girl named Kimbra. This sounds like a new Godzilla movie to me. Gotye and KImbra vs Godzilla!!! Anyway, I like how this song builds and breaks at the end like a sweet surfing roller at Puerto Escondido. The chorus of this song has the line, “Now you are just somebody that I used to know,” which is pertinent to anyone who has an ex they don’t talk to anymore. I feel this song does straddle that grey line of cool/cheesy but manages to stay on the right side.
My song of this past summer is Novocaine by Frank Ocean. I love the ridiculous lyrics. I love the cockiness. I love the beat. I love the R&B crooning. I love the video. I love how hot he is right now (sorry Hansel). To be fair, the rest of his album does have a few good songs but also has a weird Coldplay cover so that negates all the positives. I am not worried about Frank though. He has a friend named Earl Sweatshirt, he will be fine.