Songs of the Week: 6/19/2020

I only have two goals for this series: 1) Introducing the masses to great new music and 2) Giving myself an excuse to listen to every single new release on the Tidal streaming service so I can stay up with new music. Doing this on a weekly basis means that I have a one week window to get this up before the Tidal feed flips to the next set of records, so by posting song reviews rather than full album reviews, it allows me to get more out there and then if you choose to dig deeper, you can.

So… songs of the week for the release date of 6/19/2020

  • Artist: Phoebe Bridgers
  • Album: Punisher
  • Song: “Moon Song”
  • Genre: Indie rock/folk
  • Notes: Ah, the critical darling, Phoebe Bridgers. I wasn’t listening to new music like I do now, back in 2017 so Bridgers never crossed my radar, so I can only go by friends and critics who talk about her genius all the time, so her sound is new to me. For a 25 year old, this is some mature music, clearly made for the art and not airplay. The mix of beautiful folk tracks (“Saviour Complex”) with poppier tracks, (“ICU”) blends with darker tracks really nicely. And on the darker, slower paced tunes, my mind keeps going back to Peter Gabriel’s Us record, another record that’s slow, dark and beautiful in nature. Not saying this completely sounds like that but for some reason my mind went back there a few times during the course of this record.
  • Artist: Bob Dylan
  • Song: “My Own Version Of You”
  • Album: Rough and Rowdy Ways
  • Genre: Folk Rock
  • Notes: The only real note I need here is noting that I liked something from Bob Dylan for the first time in my life.
  • Artist: Neil Young
  • Song: “Vacancy”
  • Album: Homegrown
  • Genre: Folk / Rock
  • Notes: Well, Neil’s best album in years and it’s of course because Homegrown was scrapped from four decades ago. His older material is what’s still good. The newer material, not so much these days. This would have been an average record for back in the 70s though.
  • Artist: Phantom Planet
  • Song: “Only One”
  • Album: Devastator
  • Genre: Alt. Rock
  • Notes: Been a long time since I heard the name Phantom Planet mentioned anywhere, which makes sense since this is their first record in 12 years. But damn, what a fine slab of melodic alt. rock – just simply a great blend of rock and pop that’s pretty straightforward yet invigorating at the same time.
  • Artist: John Legend
  • Song: “I Do”
  • Album: Bigger Love
  • Genre: R&B
  • Notes: I’m not really a John Legend fan but that doesn’t mean all his songs are bad. For me, it just sounds like he’s perpetually stuck in wedding song mode. But on every record there are a few great songs and this soulful tune is one of them
  • Artist: Gabby Barrett
  • Song: “Goldmine”
  • Album: Goldmine
  • Genre: Country
  • Notes: Barrett was the third place finisher on American Idol in 2018 and she finally has an album out after her single “I Hope” hit #16 on the pop chart and #2 on the country chart last year. It’s a pretty typical female country record but there are some truly fierce songs, like the single this title track.
  • Artist: Teyana Taylor w/ Missy Elliot and Future
  • Song: “Boomin'”
  • Album: The Album
  • Genre: R&B/Hip-Hop
  • Notes: I have never heard of Taylor before, though this is her fourth album on Kanye West’s GOOD Music label. If this doesn’t break her into the mainstream, nothing will. She’s getting a ton of hype and although at 23 tracks and 77 minutes, it’s overly ambitious, there are a ton of great tracks on her that scream “next superstar” to me.
  • Artist: City Girls
  • Song: “That Old Man”
  • Album: City on Lock
  • Genre: Rap
  • Notes: These girls are filthy! Lots of talk about vagina here. Reminds me of a female version of 2 Live Crew – and since they even mention Luke in this song, it seems fitting.
  • Artist: Cro-Mags
  • Song: “No One’s Coming”
  • Album: In the Beginning
  • Genre: Crossover
  • Notes: First album in 20 years from these hardcore punk/crossover legends and it’s as fucking fierce as ever.
  • Artist: Charlie Dore
  • Song: “Ray and Lisa, Lisa and Joe”
  • Album: Like Animals
  • Genre: Folk/Pop
  • Notes: I saw the name Charlie Dore and almost didn’t remember who she was. For my 80’s collection, I had to pick up her debut album from the tail end of ’79, with the song “Pilot of the Airwaves” on it and apart from her follow up album in 1981, I had no idea she ever did anything else. But this is actually her 10th record and while folk isn’t really my cup of tea, this is a pretty solid album.
  • Artist: Liberty
  • Song: “Doom & Gloom”
  • Album: Haven’t Felt This Great Since 1988
  • Genre: Rock/Pop
  • Notes: Solo project of Mattias Kolstrup that kind of blends 80s, 90s and 00’s pop together seemlessly for one super catchy album.

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