New Music 2/15/19

(re-post from Facebook, edited)

Completed New Music Week 7 through Tidal.


Each Friday release day, I’m going to download 5 albums with the only criteria being name recognition or the best pieces of cover art and review them. These are the releases of 2/15.

Song of the Week: Robbie Williams “Love Attack / No Fucks”
  • Album: Avril Lavigne, Head Above Water
  • Previous Knowledge: The hits
  • Chosen: Name recognition
  • Review: I didn’t even know Avril Lavigne was still a thing. Her last album was 2013 and I had just assumed that marrying the dude from Nickelback meant the end of her career (hehe). But after reading a bit about the delay, it seems it was because of her pain from getting Lyme disease. And then I read that most of these songs were about her recovery process from that – which sounds really riveting to be honest. But in the end, I didn’t pay all that much attention to the lyrics to even know. In fact, this album blew by without attracting any of my attention at all. It’s not the bratty youngin’ pop-punk crap she used to put out but more of a mature pop record. There’s nothing bad about it but it’s as straightforward as possible, challenging nothing at all.
  • Rating: 6/10
Avril Lavigne, “Dumb Blonde”
  • Album: Chaka Khan – Hello Happiness
  • Previous Knowledge: Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, let me rock it Chaka Khan
  • Chosen: Name recognition
  • Review: Just like Avril, I didn’t know Chaka Khan was still around either and this “full length” album is only seven songs long – so there’s not a lot of material to go on here, but what’s there is pretty solid. The front end is filled with funkier tunes and some material that reflected her work with Prince in the past. The back end has a slight reggae vibe to it – which is more odd than interesting. Her voice isn’t what it once was but she can still put a verse to a great funk beat.
  • Rating: 7.5/10
Chaka Khan, “Like a Lady”
  • Album: Robbie Williams – Under the Radar Vol. 3
  • Previous Knowledge: All regular studio releases
  • Chosen: Name recognition
  • Review: I’m upset with myself that I didn’t know that there are two other volumes of these B-sides albums from Robbie Williams. It’s a shame this guy never became a worldwide sensation. Sure, he had a hit or two with Take That and then some solo tunes but he’s a fantastic artist with many incredibly catchy pop-rock songs and a sense of humor like no other. That sense of humor manifests itself in this series with him showing his ass on all three covers though – so, you know… sometimes it’s a bit much. 😊 But man, this set of B-sides and rarities is better than most A-side albums from his peers and let me stress again that this is the third volume – so apparently there were two other volumes, possibly of even better B-sides. I’ll have to dig them up. Well worth a listen!
  • Rating: 9.5/10
Robbie Williams, “I Just Want People To Like Me”
  • Album: Florida Georgia Line – Can’t Say I Ain’t Country
  • Previous Knowledge: The hits
  • Chosen: A good laugh
  • Review: I like bro country. It’s got a bad rep over the years but there’s nothing wrong with chicks, gun racks, monster trucks and other manly things, bruh. FGL was like the bro country band. They were likely a bit laughable before, but now, holy shit they are like a parody of the genre. This is some of the dullest, basic shit country made. Just crap out the same formulaic shit over and over again until you stop getting hits, I guess.
  • Rating: 2/10
FGL, “Speed of Love”
  • Album: Ladytron – Ladytron
  • Previous Knowledge: Name only
  • Chosen: Album art – People walking along a street towards a huge forest fire.
  • Review: Having never heard a Ladytron album before, I have nothing to compare this too but I don’t think they’ve changed all that much based on what I know. This is an electropop record through and through with lots of atmosphere. Some of the more upbeat tracks, like “Far from Home” caught my ear but I made it through this record barely noticing it overall. It’s decent but there’s not much that makes this really stand out.
  • Rating: 7/10
Ladytron, “Far From Home”

Albums ranked 10/10 in 2019 (in order of release date)
1. Terror Jr. – Unfortunately, Terror Jr.
2. Emily King – Scenery

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