New Music 10/4/19

It’s week 41 of 2019 and I’m downloading music from the Tidal streaming service exclusively. Each week I sample the first 2 track of every new release on the service. If those 2 tracks are good I listen to the full record and then most of what I listen to you’ll see a review on below. If those 2 tracks don’t interest me then I move on.

Song of the week: The Menzingers, “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)
  • Album: The Menzingers – Hello Exile
  • Previous knowledge: None
  • Review: I’m a bit surprised I hadn’t heard of these guys before as they are from Scranton, PA – which, while not technically local to me, isn’t really that far away. And they play a brand of pop-punk that I like – however, they didn’t release their first record until 2007 and I’m thinking that I might have moved past their brand of punk by that point. Being that this is their 6th album, I went back and listened to the previous singles from the first five to get a feel for the progression of the band. They were certainly punkier at the start of their career but they’ve slowly moved into a more punk influenced indie rock sound. There are moments on Hello Exile, (“High School Friend” and “Hello Exile”) that really sound a lot like a charged up version of The Gin Blossoms in their prime period but “Strangers Forever” and “America (You’re Freaking Me Out)” represent the band the best. Both are pop-punk in the fullest – melodies and hooks, mixed with a bit of aggression in key spots. The general gist of this album, is that if you’ve ever liked pop-punk or simply like sing-along pop hooks, you should be able to get into this easily accessible record. (And if nothing else, watch the video for “America” posted above. It’s awesome.)
  • Rating: 9/10
The Menzingers, “Hello Exile”
  • Album: Mika – My Name is Michael Holbrook
  • Previous knowledge: Various songs over the years
  • Review: I know that I’ve heard various Mika songs over the years but none of them really thrilled me to the point that I had been seeking his new record out. This record might change my mind now though. It’s his 5th studio record overall and has a very eclectic sound. The album starts with “Tiny Love” which has a bombastic overall feel, like a vintage Queen track would have. That’s followed up with a dance floor banger (“Ice Cream”) that would fit nicely right aside tracks from Prince’s Sign o’ the Times album. And since Prince is my favorite artist of all time, a track like this is surely going to get my attention. The third track is “Jealous” which might as well be a Backstreet Boys outtake. I was honestly shocked to see it wasn’t written by Max Martin. While I’m not going to break this down track-by-track, I’ve referenced Queen, Prince and the Backstreet Boys in the first 200 words, which should give you a good indication how varied the sounds are on this record. All of my favorite songs on the albums are funky and dancable – “Platform Ballerinas” and “Stay High” made me get out of my seat and move my ass. Some people have seen this before. Trust me, you do not. Overall, My Name is Michael Holbrook is an eclectic and insanely fun album that while I’m not sure has the legs to be a success on radio, is certainly worth your time and at least a stash of a few tracks in your personal playlist.
  • Rating: 9/10
Mika, “Ice Cream”

Notes: There’s a new album this week from Bedouin Soundclash, called Mass, that’s wonderful but I can’t put words to it, so it’s going below in the 10/10 section but no real review.

Albums ranked 10/10 so far in 2019 (ordered only by release date)

  1. Terror Jr. – Unfortunately, Terror Jr
  2. Emily King – Scenery
  3. Good Fuck – Good Fuck
  4. The Claypool Lennon Delirium – South of Reality
  5. UB40 – For the Many
  6. Griz – Ride Waves
  7. Pup – Morbid Stuff
  8. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
  9. Howard Jones – Transform
  10. Mavis Staples – We Get By
  11. Prince – Originals
  12. Yeasayer – Erotic Returns
  13. Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real – Turn off the News (Build a Garden)
  14. Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Servants of the Sun
  15. The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger
  16. K. Flay – Solutions
  17. Tuxedo – Tuxedo III
  18. Dorian Electra – Flamboyant
  19. My Life Story – World Citizen
  20. Bedouin Soundclash – MASS

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