It’s week 26 of ’19. While the start of the summer put forth some great and major releases, this week is kind of a slow one. Either way, I’m still downloading records on Tidal based on name recognition or album covers that intrigue me, only. Some artists I have a history with and some I’ve never heard of. This is how I discover as I trek through the new music landscape.
- Album: Daymond John – Visualize
- Previous knowledge: Um, Shark Tank.
- Review: Well, it seems that Daymond John has a record out. I was scrolling through the Tidal list of new releases and way way down the bottom was a record from Daymond John, FUBU creator and shark from ABC’s Shark Tank. No way this was on my radar and I had no idea what he would be making. I was figuring R&B or most likely smooth jazz. But holy fuck, this is a motivational record. I will start off with my favorite line from this record, “Some people are so negative, they walk into a dark room and immediately start to develop.” That’s a great line but sorry, I can’t help but to be negative here too. I mean, I picked the record because I really wanted to see what it was but I’m popping it up the top here as a bit of a joke this week.
I have never listened to a motivational record before, so I have nothing to compare it to and I probably should pay attention to someone worth a quarter of a billion dollars but I find it hard to be like Daymond and look in the mirror every morning and tell myself how much I love me. In “Love” he states “if you see me walking down the street and you see me talking to myself please don’t interrupt, because I’m looking for an expert opinion, that’s how much I love myself.” I mean, fantastic for Daymond John but people would think I’m a total douchebag if I did that. Then again, I bet Daymond John couldn’t give one flying fuck if you think he’s a douchebag as he earns like a thousand dollars a second.
Daymond wants me to visualize and it will become real. Okay, I’m currently visualizing moving on to the new Black Keys record… OH MY GOD, it came true. I love you Daymond John but I love myself more!
- Rating: 1/10
- Album: The Black Keys – “Let’s Rock”
- Previous knowledge: Various tunes over the years.
- Review: I remember listening to their second album, thickfreakness, at some point, probably college but then again it came out two years before I went to school. I don’t remember it back in high-school so honestly, I’m not too sure. I’ve heard “Tighten Up” as well but other than that, I think I’ve heard bits and pieces. I know back in the early days they were a bluesy garage rock but heavier on the blues than they seem to be now. I’ve read reviews that say most of this album seems sort of like they are treading water. So then this album is perfect for me to review since I have no idea what the last few albums sound like.
This seems to be a pretty simple album as compared to what I do actually know from them. Songs like “Walk Across the Water” and “Tell Me Lies” are mellow and groovy while being pretty simple rock songs. “Eagle Birds” and “Lo/Hi” are more upbeat rockers with the bluesy sound but still relatively clean in the mix. But a song like “Get Yourself Together” is right in between the two sides and is really what peaks my interest the most.
- Rating: 7/10
- Album: B-52’s – “Cosmic Thing (30th Anniversary Expanded Edition)
- Previous knowledge: Everything, especially this album.
- Review: Back in 1989, the B-52’s had released their fifth full length, four years after their original guitarist Keith Wilson had died, so it was billed as sort of a comeback record. The B-52’s were always a quirky band and they still are here but it’s a very commercial quirkiness thanks to both Nile Rodgers and Don Was producing the record. It ends up being the most consistently listenable of their albums, even if it’s not the most adventurous. While there are some great tracks on this, at least “Love Shack” and “Roam” have stood the test of time. This package remasters the tunes and expands the package out to five mixes of tunes not on the original and a full live album. The non-live bonus tracks aren’t that special, with one being the “B-52’s Megamix” which simply combines their hits and then the 12″ remix of “Roam” which is the only one of the “remix” tracks to act actually sound all that different. The live record is really what makes the difference here as it’s a pretty exciting look into a live show. The energy is really captured quite nicely on the disc, which features seven of the ten tracks on Cosmic Thing, as well as other classics from them like “Private Idaho” and “Rock Lobster.”
- Rating: 8.5/10
- Album: Kylie Minogue – Step Back in Time: The Definitive Collection
- Previous knowledge: Her two 80s records and “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”
- Review: Holy crap, Kylie Minogue has 14 studio records and another seven live albums. In the US we know her for “The Loco-Motion” and her comeback record, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” However, for most of the rest of the world, especially the UK and her native Australia, she’s a bonafied superstar. In the UK alone, she’s had 33 top 10 hits including seven #1 tunes and another eleven that went to #2. She’s the 12th best-selling artist of all time in the UK. It’s relatively crazy that the US kind of whiffed on this one in the end. This also fully explains why there’s 42 tracks on this collection. It’s definitely a definitive collection for sure and it’s pretty solid from start to finish. If you’re reading this in anywhere in the world other than the US, you’re probably like “pretty solid…yeah, right wanker!” But listening to a 42-track greatest hits record when you’re familiar with like six of the tracks is a task unto itself. Thankfully, Kylie has been consistently solid all the way from “The Loco-Motion” up to her new single for this album, “New York City,” which undoubtedly will not get played in New York city if history is any indication.
- Rating: 8.5/10
- Album: Chris Brown – Indigo
- Previous knowledge: The vast majority of his singles.
- Review: Another double album here by Chris Brown, his second in a row. This was supposed to feature 30 tracks for his 30th birthday (fascinated he’s only 30 as I feel I’ve been hearing about him forever) however it seems to have either 29 for the regular version or 32 for the deluxe. His single “No Guidance” hit #9 earlier in 2019 and that was actually his first significant hit in quite a while. I wasn’t really looking forward to a double disc of Chris Brown tunes but I felt like I wanted to try something that major and I’m glad I did. As a whole, the album is really solid. I think I was expecting a mess of ballads and that’s not really the case at all. The vast majority of the double set are R&B tinged dance tunes or hip-hop, with only a couple real ballads included in the set. The tracks range between club bangers and an old school Michael Jackson vibe. And as always, Chris Brown is not subtle. There’s a lot of songs about screwing and even one (“Sexy”) where he kinds of begs the girl to “f*ck me.” He’s nothing if not very direct. But overall, despite being very very long, I made it through the whole thing without thinking twice about stopping it, so it’s a damn fine record amazingly with little to no filler for something so robust.
- Rating: 8.5/10
Albums ranked 10/10 so far in 2019 (ordered only by release date)
- Terror Jr. – Unfortunately, Terror Jr
- Emily King – Scenery
- Good Fuck – Good Fuck
- The Claypool Lennon Delirium – South of Reality
- UB40 – For the Many
- Griz – Ride Waves
- Pup – Morbid Stuff
- Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
- Howard Jones – Transform
- Mavis Staples – We Get By
- Prince – Originals
- Yeasayer – Erotic Returns
- Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real – Turn off the News (Build a Garden)
- Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Servants of the Sun
- The Raconteurs – Help Us Stranger